MLI hold off-colour Namdhari

MLI hold off-colour Namdhari

Namdhari, playing their first match of the tournament, started as favourites but came out with a rather disjointed effort, seeing them eventually holding off a spirited MLI to earn themselves a point at the KSHA Stadium.

Both goals in the match came off penalty corners with MLI striking first off captain Sunil Kumar in the 30th minute and Harpal Singh equalising for Namdhari in the 51st.
The match started with MLI making the early running with Sunil calling the shots in the midfield. But the cutting edge was lacking for Armymen, who missed six penalty corners.
Namdhari had the best scoring opportunity of the first half, when Harpal’s penalty corner drive was brilliantly blocked on the goalline by MLI defender Irfan Sanadi.

The deserved goal for MLI came in the 30th minute through a short corner after some good work from Nilesh Wadkar, which was duly slammed in by Sunil.

The second half also went along the same lines with Namdhari struggling to get a stranglehold on the game and MLI failing to create any clear-cut chances. Namdhari’s urgency gave them a good opportunity to score but Gurbhag Singh missed a sitter in the 50th minute after a good foray from Gurpreet Singh. The equaliser finally arrived for Namdhari off a penalty corner, their fourth of the game, when Harpal Singh struck a strong low shot, which beat the MLI goalkeeper Palaksha.

MLI though could have snatched all three points, but Sunil failed to convert a penalty stroke with eight minutes left in the game, leaving both teams to share the honours.

Other results: SAI: 8 (Deepak Bijwad 7th, Nikkin Thimmaiah 23rd, 53rd, Pradhan Somanna 26th, 28th, 45th, MG Poonacha 33rd, 49th) bt MEG: 2 (Poovanna 17th, CU Bopanna 58th); MLI: 1 (Sunil Kumar 30th PC) drew Namdhari XI: 1 (Harpal Singh 51st PC); Air India: 8 (Sameer Dad 6th, 48th, 69th, Len Aiyappa 10th, 11, Shivender Singh 14th, Arjun Halappa 38th, 42nd) bt Army Green: 2 (Lavpreet Singh 59th, Gabriel 63rd).