- Chandigarh Comets rain 6 goals in 38 mins against Karnataka Lions
- Gurjinder Singh (32nd, 55th, 62nd & 67th mins) strikes four goals, including a hat-trick while Ramandeep Singh (34th min) and Barkat Singh (64th min) score one each for the Comets
- Sandeep Singh scores the lone goal (25th min) for Lions
Harendra Singh’s breathtakingly talented Chandigarh Comets side, seems to be hurtling towards immortality with the quality of its attacking play. Comets thrashed Karnataka Lions, which had roused itself after a dismal first round, 6-1 in their Bridgestone World Series Hockey match, which some called inconsequential since both teams are safe for the semis, but a lot is at stake to determine who meets whom in the last-four stages.
In a game of constant momentum shifts in the first half, the Lions led through Sandeep Singh in the 25th minute, but they were numbed into the most perfect stillness when Gurjinder Singh struck four goals, including a hat-trick, as Comets rained six goals in 38 minutes. Comets have also scored a mind-boggling number of goals – 46 in 14 matches, more than any team in the league. The win catapulted the Comets to the top position in the Bridgestone WSH for the first time, replacing the invincible Sher-E-Punjab, with 28 points from 14 matches. The Shers are now three points behind them and have one match remaining to play.
Drag-flicker Gurjinder Singh’s four goals in the match helped him to join Chennai Cheetahs’ Pakistani import, Imran Warsi at the top of the Golden Stick race, with 18 goals each.
For this match, the Lions had rested some of their key players, including penalty-corner specialist Len Aiyappa, but will now be looking to forget this match as early as possible and focus on the semifinals. On the other side, Chandigarh Comets unleashed their penalty corner specialist Gurjinder Singh, who was in full flow. However, it was the Lions who took the lead after missing a couple of sharp chances in the barren first quarter, through Sandeep Singh, who converted from a set-piece when his drag flick brooked no answer from the Comets goalkeeper in the 25th minute. But their joy was short-lived, as Comets began to dominate the action with better exchanges and more ball possession. They earned a short corners in 33rd minute and Gurjinder Singh converted to get the equalizer. Soon after, Comets shot into the lead with a brilliant goal when a diving Ramandeep Singh sent in a reverse hit after collecting a rebound from the custodian at the top of the circle at half-time. Then, Gurjinder scored twice in the space of two minutes to make good use of two short corner in the 55th and 56th minutes to get his hat-trick and a 4-1 lead for Comets. He added one more towards the end, his fourth goal which took his tally to 18 in the charts in the 68th minute. In between, Barkat Singh scored a field goal in his second attempt after the goalie blocked the first try in the 64th minute. Ramandeep Singh was declared the man-of-the-match.
The Lions’ decision to rest their key players may appear to be a cool strategy, but the Comets certainly seem to be the team which is on fire.
Goal Scorers for Chandigarh Comets:
Gurjinder Singh 33′ (PC)
Ramandeep Singh 34′ (FG)
Gurjinder Singh 56′ (PC)
Gurjinder Singh 62′ (PC)
Barkat Singh 64′ (FG)
Gurjinder Singh 67′ (PC)
Goal Scorer for Karnataka Lions:
Sandeep Singh 25′ (PC)
Credits: World Series Hockey