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'Sultans' slay the 'Lions'

Didar Singh scored a hat-trick as Hyderabad Sultans came from behind to beat Bangalore Lions 3-2.

othersports Updated: Jan 06, 2006 22:47 IST

Didar Singh scored a hat-trick as Hyderabad Sultans came back from a two goal deficit to beat Bangalore Lions 3-2 in the Tier I match of the Premier Hockey League on Thursday.

The Lions were sitting pretty but Didar's entry in the last quarter changed the complexion of the game.

Bangalore took early control and a perfect set-piece drill in the 12th minute saw Jordz Quintana put them ahead.

Then skipper Arjun Halappa and Rehan Butt combined well to repeatedly raid the rival goal.

Five minutes before half-time, Butt scored with a stinging shot after he received a defence-splitting pass from Tushar Khandekar on the left flank.

The Sultans tried to get back into the match in the third quarter but the Bangalore defence, led by Len Aiyappa, managed to hold firm despite conceding several penalty corners.

Sultans substituted Jorge Lombi with Didar Singh towards the end and the decision proved to be a masterstroke.

He turned the match upside down with his drag flicks scoring twice in the fourth quarter to push the match into the extra-time silver goal period.

The comeback started in the 54th minute when Didar was on target converting a penalty corner. Nine minutes later, he equalised with a low flick which kissed the gloves of Bangalore custodian Bharat Chetri before landing in the net.

The match was thus pushed into extra-time.

Didar's drag flick in the 75th minute hit Quintana's head on the goalline before going out and umpire Bhupinder awarded a penalty stroke which Didar converted to give the Sultans a come-from-behind victory.

First Published: Jan 06, 2006 22:47 IST