Karnataka Punjab to face off in 1st semifinal of WSH | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Karnataka Punjab to face off in 1st semifinal of WSH

They might have finished a rung below their upcoming opponent in the league stages but Karnataka Lions will definitely look to thrive on home advantage and eye a place in Monday’s summit clash when they face Sher-e-Punjab in the semi-final of the inaugural World Series Hockey in Bangalore today.

chandigarh Updated: Apr 01, 2012 00:51 IST

They might have finished a rung below their upcoming opponent in the league stages but Karnataka Lions will definitely look to thrive on home advantage and eye a place in Monday’s summit clash when they face Sher-e-Punjab in the semi-final of the inaugural World Series Hockey in Bangalore on Sunday.

Karnataka Lions finished third in the league stages behind Punjab (25points) with 21 points from 14 matches. But come tomorrow there will be little to separate the two sides as one bad day in office can ruin both Karnataka and Punjab’s dream of lifting the title.

In terms of win-loss record also both the teams share equal honours with one victory each from two outings. But what might be worrying Karnataka ahead of the crucial match is their 1-6 mauling at the hands of Punjab in their last face-off on home turf.

Karnataka would be desperate to avenge that humiliation in front of a partisan home crowd. The hosts would be heavily banking on captain Arjun Halappa young Jarnail Singh and their top goal-scorer in the

tournament and drag-flick specialist Len Aiyappa (10) to deliver the goods while veteran Pakistani Zeeshan Ashraf will provide the steadiness in the home team’s backline.

Punjab on the other hand will rely on yesteryear stars of Indian hockey - Deepak Thakur, skipper Prabhjot Singh and Gagan Ajit Singh.

All in all a pulsating encounter is on the cards as both the teams are expected to play out of their skin in order to stake a claim for the USD 2 million title.