Maratha Warriors clinch 5-4 win over Chandigarh Dynamos
The PHL marks its first one-on-one shoot-out that has replaced the traditional tiebreaker involving penalty strokes, reports B Shrikant.Updated: Jan 08, 2007 22:20 IST
The Premier Hockey League witnessed its first one-on-one shoot-out that has replaced the traditional tiebreaker involving penalty strokes during Maratha Warriors’ 5-4 victory over Chandigarh Dynamos in sudden death in Chennai on Monday.
And it evoked mixed reactions.
In the shoot-out, the attacker starts from the 25-yard line, moves into the shooting circle and tries to score past the rushing goalkeeper all within eight seconds.
For the spectators, the innovation was a new experience and watching the attacker take on the goalkeeper and score was exciting. They cheered lustily as some players easily beat the goalkeeper by dribbling past him or when Bharat Kumar of Maratha Warriors got into two minds and tried to dribble past Baljit Singh of Dynamos and wasted the eight seconds at his disposal.
But for Peter van Roth, chairman, umpires’ committee of international hockey federation, FIH, it was nothing spectacular. “It didn’t excite me much as I didn’t see the players do anything spectacular,” he said.
Though Roth didn’t give it much importance, the Maratha Warriors would take the two points they earned when Sandeep Antil beat Dynamos goalkeeper Baljit Singh on the eight tie-break shot to seal tiebreaker 4-3 for the Warriors who had surged ahead through a Bharat Kumar field goal in the 23rd minute only to see Ravipal Singh level scores in the 55th minute to give finishing touch to sustained attacks by the Dynamos in the fourth quarter.
The two teams got a number of chances but failed to break the deadlock in 15 minutes of extra-time, thus taking the match into the tiebreak.
For the Maratha Warriors, who had practiced the one-on-one shoot-out at their base in Mumbai before the PHL, Shivender Singh started with goal though he nearly messed up his chance by hitting the ball too hard off his first touch but managed to recover.
Dynamos’ Jugraj Singh scooped over the goal while Warriors’ Bharath Kumar ran too close to goalkeeper and couldn’t get past him within eight seconds. Rajpal Singh scored to make it 1-1. Sandeep Antil and Navdeep Singh converted their attempts to make it 2-2 but Gurbaj Singh missed for the Warriors and Sher Singh converted to make it 3-2 for Dynamos.
Dhananjay Mahadik kept the Warriors alive by easily beating Baljit Singh before Adrian D’Souza pulled off a superb save off Prabhjot Singh to pull the scores level again.
In the sudden death, Shivender and Mahadik missed for Warriors while Rajpal Singh, Navdeep Singh and Jugraj failed for the Dynamos. Antil then dribbled past Baljit Singh to score the winning stroke for Warriors.
Earlier in regulation time, both teams went on attack and created some good chances but waywardness upfront and some good saves by both the goalkeepers kept them tied 1-1. The Warriors looked a better side but they had the luxury of more players available on the bench unlike the Dynamos who are struggling with injuries.
Maratha Warriors 1 (Bharat Singh 23rd min) bt Chandigarh Dynamos 1 (Ravipal Singh 55th min) 5-4 via sudden death shoot-out.
First Published: Jan 08, 2007 22:20 IST