Comets shine bright with back-to back win
- Chandigarh Comets beat Delhi Wizards 3-2; now in 2nd place with 18 points
- Gurjinder Singh impresses with a brace (8th & 14th mins) while Amir Khan (44th min) scores the other goal
- Vikramjeet Singh (10th min) and Shakeel Abassi (28th min) score for Wizards
- Gurjinder Singh is lying in second place in the ‘Golden Stick’ race
Bouyed by their terrific comeback victory against Pune Strykers in their previous match, Chandigarh Comets were in total command today as they celebrated their back-to-back win over hopefuls Delhi Wizards here at Sector 42 Stadium. A win was a-must for the Wizards but they had overlooked the crest that Comets are riding at the moment, though the 3-2 victory margin could have been bettered by the hosts.
Star drag-flicker Gurjinder Singh showed abundant talent and imagination to score a brace though he was unlucky not to add another which was a low-flick speeding parallel to the turf, but it missed the goal by a couple of inches. His striking success, no doubt, gave confidence to the Comets that they could hold their sway in the match at will, but they must be contemplating the several missed chances. The talented PC expert is now the second-highest scorer in the tournament after this match, and he deserves the credit for taking the late-starters thus far in second place with 18 points from 10 matches (dated before Chennai Cheetahs match against Bhopal Badshahs at 9pm). Gurjinder had scored the lone goal in their first leg against the Wizards.
Meticulous in moves and methodical in approach, Comets held sway in the beginning before giving enough elbow room to their rivals to cancel out both their leads at the half time. Vikramjeet Singh will rue his missing of stroke, a lapse that had changed the course of the match forever.
Comets missed two easy crosses in the beginning, and then changed their strategy from going for direct goals to penalty corners, which proved fruitful. Sukhwinder ‘Gabbar’ Singh and Rehan Butt worked on the Wizards’ weak left flank, and earned penalty corners at will. Gurjinder converted his first and third, while goalie Kamaldeep Singh cleared the second and Jaswinder picked up the ball on the goalline off the fourth.
On the other hand, renewed with timely time out, Shakeel Abbasi fetched his team’s first penalty corner, which was converted by Vikramjeet Singh to bring up the equalsier. As Comets ducked themselves into a cautious mode, Wizards sensed their chance and came out with a flurry of attack. Spainiard Leondro from the left served a close parallel pass across the goalmouth, Shakeel lost no time to send a gentle push to silence the vocal crowd that had swelled to full stands by then.
Speeding Ajitesh Roy, off a feed from Butt, put Ramandeep Singh for a goal, but the youngster failed to connect the cross despite athletic dive, against open goalmouth. Coach Harendra Singh immediately pulled him to bench to counsel. The teams changed sides sharing four goals.
Sukhwinder ‘Gabbar’ Singh, on confronted with a host of defenders on the top of circle, backpassed the ball imaginatively with one hand, that fetched the lead for the Comets for the third time in the match. Amir Khan received the deceptive pass in the middle of circle, drew Kamaldeep Singh out before gently scooping the ball into the net. Shortly, in tune with raging war, Rajpal Singh and Ajitesh Roy got yellow card suspensions.
When both teams were playing with a player less, Delhi got a stroke as its penalty corner shot hit the body of Gurjinder on the goal line. Vikramjeet pushed the stroke much to his agony. The Wizards are due for a long huddle after this loss.
Schedule for March 21:
Sher-E-Punjab vs Mumbai Marines at Olympian Surjeet Singh Stadium, Jalandharat 7pm; Karnataka Lions vs Pune Strykers at KSHA Stadium, Bengaluru at 9pm. Live on Neo Sports.