Continuing on their winning streak, Jaypee Punjab Warriors defeated Kalinga Lancers by 2-1 in their second meeting of the Hero Hockey India League 2015 at Bhubaneswar today from 0-1 down at half time.
Having an advantage of playing at their home turf, Kalinga Lancers showed positive signs in the opening stages and continued dominating the possession throughout the game. Jaypee Punjab Warriors without losing hopes struggled between the sticks and tried to keep up the momentum of the game and ended up turning the tables in their favor. Both the teams started on an attacking note and displayed a well contested first quarter but unfortunately neither of the teams failed to score even a single goal.
Moving ahead to the second quarter, Kalinga Lancers seemed to be more structured and confident with their strategies and showcased brilliant defence work. It was in the 24th minute that gritty Gurjinder Singh gave Kalinga Lancers a much awaited lead with a penalty corner conversion through a brilliant drag-flick. With no goal score for Jaypee Punjab Warriors, Kalinga Lancers took the lead to 1-0 and gave its local crowd a reason to relish the game.
The third quarter proved to be a life line for the Jaypee Punjab Warriors as they dug deep into their stamina reserves and suddenly came back into life. Their star player Sandeep Singh swept in and pierced a powerful shot through a penalty corner in the 42nd minute to equalize the goal score by 1-1. With this, Sandeep Singh also continued to rest safe on top of the goal score tally in the League. The teams continued to fight and pressed forward to create some good moves in order to surge the ball in the net.
The fourth quarter turned favorable for Jaypee Punjab Warrior as Affan Yousuf stroked in a winning goal from a field work in the 50th minute awarding the team a 2-1 win against Kalinga Lancers.
Impressed with the team’s defence, Man of the Match Lucas Vila of Kalinga Lancers said, “It was disappointing for us to lose the match so closely. We dominated the match but failed to materialise opportunities. But the best thing is that our performance has improved over previous matches and we maintained a good attack through-out the match. After losing four matches in a row, we will still try to win rest of the matches and collect as many points as we can with our improved performance.”
Excited on the win, Jaypee Punjab Warriors Captain Jamie Dwyer said, “Kalinga Lancers played very well today but we also gave a tough fight. Luck was on our side. It is good to win matches as it shows the depth in our squad. Though Kalinga Lancers dominated the match but we managed to convert opportunities in goals and won the match at last. From here on we will focus on rectifying our weaknesses and will improve more to reach the final.”
Commenting on the team’s performance, Jaypee Punjab Warriors Coach Barry Dancer said, “Kalinga Lancers dominated through-out the match and they performed brilliantly today. After winning previous matches, we did not take them lightly and we really faced tough competition from them. We have good penalty corner specialists like Sandeep Singh and Christopher Ciriello who turned the game to our side. It was really a good match for us.”
Hero Goal of the Match – Affan Yousuf, Jaypee Punjab Warriors
Man of the Match – Lucas Vila, Kalinga Lancers
February 3, 2015, 15.00 hrs IST – Uttar Pradesh Wizards vs Ranchi Rays (Lucknow)
The match will be telecast LIVE on Star Sports