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Aiyappa gives Bangalore Lions victory
February 18, 2007 22:22 IST
Bangalore Lions chalked out a hard-fought 2-1 victory over favourites Sher-e-Jalandhar in the Premier Hockey League in Chandigarh on Sunday.
Bangalore conceded the first goal in the 15th minute after a defensive lapse inside the 25-yard line saw Shers star Gagan Ajit Singh steal the ball on the right flank.
He darted into the circle dodging past a couple of defenders and shot home from a narrow angle.
Thereafter, Bangalore took control of the midfield with a four-man brigade and stopped the dangerous rival raids from the right by marking Baljit Singh Saini and Baljit Singh Dhillon.
Bangalore also played more vertical balls than the usual parallel passes and depended more on counter attacks.
Lions struck the equaliser in the 19th minute when their speedy striker Hari Prasad put Sandeep Michael in possession with a short pass. Sandeep, at the middle of the circle, feinted past defender Baljit Singh Saini and struck a powerful hit into the boards.
Two minutes before half-time, Bangalore Lions earned the second of their three penalty-corners on the day to score their second goal, which turned out to be the match-winner.
Lions' Pakistani import Rehan Butt injected the ball and their other foreign player Paul Blake set it up just right for drag-flick specialist Len Aiyappa, who found the net with a neat variation, beating rival custodian Kamaldeep with his speed.
While Shers earned six penalty-corners and missed all, Lions succeeded in converting one of three they got.