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Thrilling victories for Indian teams

October 02, 2005 20:20 IST

Indian Light Blues edged past Youngsters' Hockey Club of Pakistan 4-3 in the 16th Lal Bahadur Shastri hockey tournament in New Delhi on Sunday.

It was the day of the home teams as India under-18 rallied to beat Telekom Malaysia 2-1 in another match.

The Blues showed aggression right from the beginning to put the strong Pakistan team under pressure.

With excellent coordination between the midfield and forward, they created nice moves to strike home regularly and earn a healthy lead of 3-0 at the half-time.

Tushar Khandekar drew first blood for the Blues in the ninth minute through a spectacular deflection.

The Indian side struck two more blows in 26th and 28th minutes. Skipper Jugraj Singh exhibited a spark of his old magic by converting a penalty corner through drag-flick.

Hari Prasad extended the lead further by deflecting a beautiful pass from stylish left half Prabodh Tirkey.

The Pakistan team, with a number of internationals including Olympians Tariq Aziz, Muhammad Shabbir and Mudassar Ali Khan, failed to score due to the solid defence of William Xalxo and Jugraj.

Youngsters' Club looked more attacking after the change of ends and their skipper Mudassar delivered the goods by striking at the open goal of Blues in the 48th minute.

Midfielder Vikram Pillay's noteworthy efforts bore fruits for the Blues in the 52nd minute as Sardar Singh utilised a good pass from Pillay to beat the Pakistan goalkeeper and make the scoreline 4-1.

The match witnessed more drama towards the end as Pakistan increased the pace of their attack.

They failed to score off a penalty corner in the 61st minute, but earned a penalty stroke as the ball touched Jugraj's feet inside the D.

The host captain disputed the referee's decision and ended up getting a yellow card. Aziz scored a goal off the penalty stroke to make it 4-2.

Four minutes later, Pakistan were awarded another short corner and Kashif Ali's successful shot entered into the goal to provide some nail-biting moments for the Indians.

However, they held their nerves till the end.

Earlier in the day, the Indian under-18 team came from behind to defeat comparatively experienced Telekom Malaysia, who played without their Indian recruits Dhanraj Pillay and Len Aiyappa.

The Malaysian team took the lead in the fourth minute through a goal by Mohammad Razie Abid Rahim, who converted a penalty corner.

The Indians found the equaliser in the 48th minute when captain Pramod scored through a deflection off Malaysian defender Lailin Abu Hassan.

Ten minutes later, Vinod Pillay pierced through the Malaysian defence to take the ball from the right flank and pass it to Chandi, who made no mistake in scoring the decider.


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