Seventh Hussain Hockey Tournament: Excellency edge Krida Prabodhini in six-goal comeback thriller
In the second semi-final, Excellency edged the shootout 3-2 after it went to sudden death to book themselves a berth in Tuesday’s grand finaleUpdated: Jul 10, 2018 18:20 IST
Hindustan Times, Pune
In what proved to be the most captivating game of the seventh Hussain hockey tournament, Excellency Academy came back from a losing scenario on a couple of occasions to beat Krida Prabodhini via a penalty shootout, after the score was three goals apiece in regulation time. Excellency edged the shootout 3-2 after it went to sudden death to book themselves a berth in Tuesday’s grand finale at the Major Dhyanchand hockey stadium, Nehrunagar, Pimpri.
Once the game commenced, both sides took the game to each other, which saw the contest opening up, giving the spectators an endto-end and attacking match to look forward to. Both sides had good chances to score in the first 10 minutes, but it was Krida Prabodhini that drew first blood through a good effort by Talib Shah on the stroke of the first quarter.
With momentum on their side, Krida pushed on and within no time, they found themselves two goals to the better. Once again, it was Shah who managed to bamboozle the Excellency defence before calmly slotting the ball past the hapless Avadhut Solankar in goal. It seemed like they were holding on to a twogoal lead at the break, but Excellency’s number nine Yuvraj Walmiki had something else in store. Just at the stroke of half-time, the Indian international forced an error off the opposition defender to halve the deficit.
The 15-minute half-time break proved to be an energy boosting one for Excellency as they picked up from where they left off in the first and within a few minutes the game, was back on level terms as their star forward Walmiki once again found the back of the net as he scored a typical poacher’s goal to make it 2-2.
Despite the momentum being on their side, Excellency weren’t the side that scored the fifth strike of the game as it was a superb effort from Aniket Gurav from Prabodhini that gave his side their second lead on the evening. Playing with their backs to the wall, Prabodhini defended their hearts out in the dying stages of the game and tried to apply a tight-marking system on all of Excellency’s front men. However, they still managed to concede another goal and lose a hardearned lead in the final few minutes of the game as Excellency hit them on the counter-attack. Once again, Walmiki found himself slotting the ball home after a save rebounded straight into his path.
In the shootout, both teams matched each other stroke for stroke. The first two penalties from each team found their way into the back of the net, while the remaining three were either saved or hit off target.
After Prabodhini’s Talib Shah failed to score, the onus was on Vinit Kamble to hold his nerves and slot the ball past Jivah Sinde in the opposition goal.
Kamble knew exactly what he wanted to do as he faked a shot before rounding the keeper and hitting the ball through his legs to win a historic match for his team.
Bombay Engineer Group breakdown Hockey United for place in finals
In the semi-finals of the seventh Hussain hockey tournament at the Major Dhyanchand hockey stadium, Nehrunagar-Pimpri, on Tuesday, BEG rode on a three-goal effort by Rahul Titkey to down Hockey United 5-2.
The bout began with BEG scoring first via Jawalam Kujar (5’). Hockey United staged some brilliant moves and stuck back via a penalty corner conversion by Wajid Shaikh (7’) to make it 1-1. Following this, BEG fought hard, with Rahul Tirkey (15’) giving BEG the lead again, before Arvind Yadav (21’) converted a penalty stroke to level the score 2-2.
On the brink of the breather, BEG skipper Kanchan Rajbher (25’) helped his side lead 3-2. On resumption, it was BEG who outran their opponents and had Rahul Tirkey (39’ and 45’) take the game away from Hockey United.
Excellency Academy and Bombay Engineer Group (BEG), Khadki, will lock horns for the title on Tuesday.
In the inter-school finals, Morewadi-based SNBP had mixed luck in the under-14 section. The boys downed PCMC 1-0 via Faizal Shaikh, who scored in the 15th minute, but the girls failed to get past New Millennium School girls, who won 2-0 to prevent a double title for SNBP. For New Millennium School, Gauri Dhaware (6’) and Sanchi Kute (15’) scored to settle the issue.
First Published: Jul 10, 2018 16:57 IST