With short spells of rain only a minor distraction, Ranchi Rhinos edged past Punjab Warriors 3-2 in a Hockey India League match at the Surjit Stadium in Jalandhar on Monday. This was the second defeat for the Warriors at the hands of the Ranchi outfit.
The contest began on a sedate note but minutes into the second quarter, the home team managed a penalty corner, which went abegging.
The absence of injured SV Sunil in the Warriors' forward line added to the home team woes, though, despite all odds, they scored a goal in the 34th minute when Australian Kieren Govers converted a penalty corner. Compatriot Ciriello Christopher then increased the lead in the 50th minute through a penalty corner. The Rhinos were soon in counter-attack mode, reducing the margin two minutes later when Reid Ross converted a penalty corner. Soon, the Rhinos scored two quick goals through Mandeep (62nd) and Ross (69th) to stage a come-from-behind victory.
Meanwhile, international hockey federation, FIH, president Leandro Negre said a Champions Hockey League, on the lines of Champions League cricket, would be started soon.
Tickets for the semifinals and final to be held at Ranchi on February 9 and 10, are available at the venue.