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Dynamos edge out Sultans
January 05, 2008 19:49 IST
Chandigarh Dynamos pipped a spirited Hyderabad Sultans through penalty shoot-out to book a berth in the finals of the fourth Premier Hockey League at the Sector 42 stadium in Chandigarh on Saturday.
In a closely-fought match, both teams failed to open the account in the regulation time and were locked 1-1 after extra time forcing the match to go into the shoot-outs.
After four dreary quarters, young drag-flicker Diwakar Ram infused life into the semifinal encounter by converting a penalty corner in the third minute of the extra time.
Just before the first half of the extra time, Deepak Thakur flicked one home to draw parity for the home side.
In the do-or-die shoot-outs, the cool-headed Dynamos displayed their skills to get the better of the Sultans 4-2.
The Sultans, packed with promising players, sprung a surprise and gave the star-studded Dynamos a run for their money by putting up a solid defence to thwart the Chandigarh team's reputed forward-line comprising captain Rajpal Singh, Prabhjot Singh, Deepak Thakur and Inderjit Singh Chadha.
Sultans' under-21 players Samir Baxla and Anand Tirkey competed with the experienced strikers of the Dynamos and did not let them an easy chance to score.
On the up, budding forward Pramod Kumar impressed all with his dashing moves and on-the-run shots, which unfortunately failed to yield any result.
The Sultans earned four penalty corners while the Dynamos managed only one and that tells a lot about the two teams' performance on the day.
If the match lacked the entertainment in the regulation time, Pramod Kumar's solo run down the left flank won a penalty corner for the Sultans as Sandeep Singh blocked the forward's progress.
Diwakar Ram was right on target with his low-trajectory drag-flick and it proved to be too good for the Dynamos' goalkeeper Baljit Singh.
The Dynamos stepped up their attack and a superb pass from Sandeep was flicked in by Deepak Thakur to score the equaliser within a few moments of conceding the lead.
The goal, however, raised controversy with Sultans' coach P Madhukaran having a hot exchange of words with umpire Virendra Bahadur.
The Sultans objected the goal on the ground that the ball was dangerously rising.