Karnataka Lions rise to third spot

Karnataka Lions rise to third spot

Thimmaiah brace powers Strykers home

Karnataka Lions made it two wins in two days as they outplayed Delhi Wizards 3-1 in the World Series Hockey match at the KSHA stadium here on Saturday.

revving it up Karnataka Lions’ cheer girls during the hosts’ match against Sher-E-Punjab in Bangalore on Friday.

Ravipal Singh (8th minute), Jarnail Singh (36th) and Len Aiyappa (66th) struck the goals for the Lions while Rajpal Singh scored a 51st-minute consolation goal for the Wizards.

This was the Lions’ sixth win in 12 matches, and after having been glued to the bottom of the table for most part of the campaign, have now risen to third with 18 points. The Lions had shocked league leaders Sher-E-Punjab 2-1 on Friday, thanks to brace from Aiyappa.

The Lions were the more confident side in the first quarter with Malaysian Radzi Mohammad combining well with Ravipal. In the eighth minute, Ravipal was alert to tap home a deflection off Wizards’custodian Kamaldeep Singh’s attemped clearence.

The second quarter saw the Lions consolidate their lead. Antil threatened to score with his solo runs on the right but the Wizards foiled his attempts. But the Lions didn’t have to wait too long to double their lead. In the 36th minute, Jarnail Singh sounded the board after receiving a pass from Vinayak Bijwad inside a crowded ‘D’.

The Lions had plenty of chances to seal the issue in the third quarter but squandered them all before Rajpal made them pay by pulling one back for the visitors in the 51st minute.

With their tails up, the Wizards then kept pushing hard for the equaliser only to be thwarted by the brilliance of Chauhan. After some anxious moments, Aiyappa finally calmed the nerves with a fine penalty corner conversion four minutes from time.

Badshahs rally

Hosts Bhopal Badshahs made a remarkable comeback to hold second-placed Chandigarh Comets 4-4 in a thrilling match.

Down 0-4 at halftime, Badshahs made a spirited comeback, pumping in four goals in the remaining two quarters to leave the visitors stunned.

Comets scored through Sukhwinder Singh Gabbar (8th minute, 20th), Gurjinder Singh (9th) and Amir Khan (30th) while Badshahs fought back through Affan Yousuf (40th), Sameer Dad (47th) and Shailendra Singh Bundela (61st, 64th).

Friday’s results: Pune Strykers: 4 (Gurpreet Singh 28th, Mario Almada 34th, Nikkin Thimmiah 43rd, 45th) bt Mumbai Marines: 2 (Banmali Xess 15th, Troy Sutherland 27th); Karnataka Lions: 2 (Len Aiyappa 4th, 58th) bt Sher-E-Punjab: 1 (Harpreet Singh 38th).

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