Gurpreet spoils Wizards party at home
Pune Strykers beat Delhi team 3-1
Penalty corner expert Gurpreet Singh’s last gasp
conversions spoilt the host Delhi Wizards party in the third and last
match on Day four of the Bridgestone World Series Hockey here in Delhi
Gurpreet converted a penalty corner in the dying moments of third
quarter and then pushed a penalty stroke ball to the left corner of
the net to enable Pune overcome both the fighting Delhi Wizards and
also huge partisan support they had on the stands.
Earlier, Philip Sunkel’s 26th minute deflection helped Delhi to cancel
out Mario Almada’s 12th minute stunner.
Pune Strykers won Delhi wizards 3-1 in an exciting encounter on Saturday.
Delhi Wizards and Pune Strykers, who won their first match on Friday,
faced each other against huge Delhi crowd in the historic Major Dhyan
Chand National stadium on Saturday.
Expectedly, the confident teams produced an electric hockey like of
which is fast becoming order of the day in the Bridgestone World
A faulty and panicky clearance inside the circle was grabbed by the
Pune Strykers to go up early.
International star Bikas Toppo dribbled past a host of defenders to
the baseline, and passed it upfront to the waiting forwards. A Delhi
defender came quick and intercepted, but let the ball bounce and
trickle towards the cage. Even as the panicky defender was demanding
an infringement and lost focus, Argentina’s legend Mario Almada
retrieved the ball, whacked it to the net in fraction of a second
(1-0). Almada was fittingly declared the Man of the Match.
The beauty of the 12th minute electric goal was such that the Delhi
fans jumped in joy and celebrated with bhangra, momentarily forgetting
the fact the goal was struck against their team!
Rajpal Singh, Vikaram Kant and Philip Ankel worked in tandem to reply
It was a copy book triangle move. Wily winger Rajpal stole the ball in
the 25-yard area, took to the top of D very fast, passed to waiting
Vikaram Kant. The international star sent a strong diagonal pass
towards the cage, where Ankel lunged forward to put the stick to
deflect the flight. The ball crashed into the net to the right of
goalie (1-1). The clock that time read 26th minute.
The same alert forward however wasted a great feed by Shakeel Abbasi
in the 66th minute. He dived and connected timely in the circle, but
the flight was miscued to miss the empty goal, and agonizingly went
There were no goals in second and third quarters, despite plenty of
penalty corners, counter attacks and fast and furious hockey marking
Gurpreet struck his first goal in the dying moments of third quarter,
off the team’s sixth penalty corner (53rd min, 2-1). This goal took
the steam out of otherwise equally competent Delhi outfit.
Gurpreet scored his second, and over all his sixth, goal in the 60th
minute. Pune earned a stroke against the run of the play. The burly
youngster placed the ball to the left corner of the net (3-1) to take
away the match from the host.