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Warriors pip Sultans in shoot-out

Source: PTI
February 20, 2007 14:27 IST
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A brilliant performance under the bar by Devesh Chouhan and an inspired show by underdogs Hyderabad Sultans went in vain as Maratha Warriors, who were held 2-2 even after extra-time, edged out Sultans in the tie-breaker to win 5-3 in the Premier Hockey League in Chandigarh on Monday night.

In the tie-breaker, Shivender Singh, Jamie Dwyer and Gaurav Tokhi scored for Maratha Warriors while Sandeep Antil fumbled.

For Hyderabad Sultans, the first three players failed to find the target. Sardara Singh shot over the bar, Rajwinder Singh sent it wide and Lazarus Barla's ball went out of play.

Only Tariq Aziz scored and it was 2-1 in favour of Maratha Warriors after four players tried their chances.

Warriors' fifth player, Gaurav Tokhi managed to beat Chouhan to post the match-winner and with the result decided, Hyderabad did not take the last try.

According to PHL rules, each player started with the ball on the 25-yard line and had a maximum of 8 seconds to score a goal with only the goal keeper defending. The player can take as many shots as possible within the stipulated time.

Earlier, it was Maratha Warriors who shot ahead with a 28th minute field goal. Jamie Dwyer, the mercurial Australian forward, dodged two defenders and put Chandrakesh in possession. The latter's shot was saved by Chouhan but Shivender slammed home the rebound.

Ten minutes later, Hyderabad struck the equaliser from their third and last short corner in the 38th minute when Didar Singh, who made amends for his earlier lapses during the set-piece drill, sounded the board with a stinging drag-flick.

However, Maratha Warriors took the lead again in the 46th minute through a superb field goal where Jamie Dwyer was in the thick of action once again.

Shivender, the other Warriors' player who excelled on the day, sent a cross into the circle and Jamie shot towards the left post for Hardeep to deflect home.

Thereafter, Hyderabad held more ball possession and made repeated raids but lost many opportunities. In fact, they had better circle penetration in the second half but failed to finish their moves. However, they scored the equaliser in the 63rd minute to push the match into the extra-time.

Sardara moved into the circle from the right and dodged past Viren Rasquinha and shot from a narrow angle. Warriors' custodian Adrian D'Souza saved the ball but a weak clearance by Kuleep Singh saw Shakeel Abbassi on the right and the Pakistani star found the target without any fuss.

Warriors' Jamie Dwyer was declared as Lion of the Match.

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