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Steller provides steel in Orissa win

Dutch player Tjeerd Steller scored the silver goal in their 1-0 upset victory over last year's runners-up Chandigarh Dynamos.

india Updated: Jan 07, 2007 00:10 IST
B Shrikant
B Shrikant

Dutch player Tjeerd Steller scored the silver goal in their 1-0 upset victory over last year's runners-up Chandigarh Dynamos in the third edition of the Premier Hockey League here on Saturday.

Though Steller provided the magic moment of the match, it was Steelers' goalkeeper Dinesh Ekka who stole the show with some brilliant saves that helped his team survive a barrage of attacks by the Dynamos till the 74th minute. Steller finally flicked home their fourth penalty corner to claim two points for Dilip Tirkey's men in their first match.

Dynamos, who had lost to Sher-E-Jalandhar in their first match on Friday, had to be satisfied with one point for managing to stretch the game into extra time.

Orissa scored off what was probably their best scoring chance throughout the match. They earned their fourth penalty corner of the game in the fourth minute of extra time and Steller, who had shared the responsibility of taking short corners with Dilip Tirkey, let flew a powerful flick that completely beat Dynamos custodian Baljit Singh. The Dynamos tried to fight back and launched some good attacks but the remaining three and half minutes were not enough to get them an equaliser.

The Dynamos dominated with Prabhjot Singh, Rajpal Singh, Inderjit Singh and Navdeep Singh stitching some good moves. They were supported by the midfield but failed to capitalise on chances. They went off target often and, when they did manage to direct the ball towards the goal, Dinesh Ekka, declared the Lion of the Match, came in their way.

The Orissa team defended in numbers and tried to counter attack but could create few chances. In contrast, Chandigarh Dynamos were all over the field and kept the rival defence under tremendous pressure that cracked open on a number of occasions despite the rock-solid presence of Dilip Tirkey.

Prabhjot Singh was the pick of players for Dynamos, falling back and launching some good attacks. He showed speed and good stick work but on Saturday, luck simply was not on their side.

In the day’s second match, Maratha Warriors launched some lightening breaks but looked clueless after crossing the 25-yard circle against Sher-E-Jalandhar, making simple mistakes that almost cost them dear. But, unlike their first match against Bangalore Lions on Friday, luck was on their side as Shivinder Singh scored the winner via silver goal in the last minute of the first half of extra-time, after being tied goalless at the end of 70 minutes.

The winner came off a counter-attack off Jalandhar's second penalty corner. Gurbaj Singh collected a deflection inside the circle and sent a long ball to Imran Warsi in the Jalandhar half. Warsi passed the ball on to Hemant Gethe on the left, who wrongfooted Jalandhar goalkeeper sent in a perfect cross to Shivinder who only had to tap it in into an empty goal.

Results: Orissa Steelers 1 (Steller 74th min-pc) bt Chandigarh Dynamos 0

Maratha Warriors 1 (Shivender Singh 77th min) bt Sher-E-Jalandhar 0.

First Published: Jan 07, 2007 00:10 IST