Comets shine at last against Marines
A 5-2 win ensures Chandigarh Comets open their accounts
Emerging young stars Gurjinder Singh and sukhwinder Singh played a stellar role in steering Chandigarh Comets to a famous 5-2 victory over Mumbai Marines in the Bridgestone World Series Hockey here on Sunday.
The energy and enthusiasm of the young outfit was such that despite missing sitters all along they had enough on the board to outclass and outperform the much acclaimed home side. What a way for the Comets to post their first win three matches!
Comets stuck a goal apiece in each quarter, and a brace in the last to hand out a humiliating defeat to the Marines on their home ground.
But for excellent work under the bar by goalkeeper-captain Adrian D’souza, the score could have well been in double digit for the visiting side.
The Marines went defensive after striking a brace of goals in the first half, and then were not allowed to come out of the mould they were ducked into. On the other hand, after a sedate start, the Comets descended on the Marines’ shores relentlessly and walked away with pride.
Gurjinder Singh ( 24th and 46th min), Sukwinder Singh (17 & 70th min) and Ranjodh Singh (53rd min) scored for the winners while it was Troy Sutherland (3rd min) and Joga Singh (7th min) who did the same for the losing side.
Mumbai started the game truly well before losing its path midway through. It made its intentions clear from the moment the ball was set on motion on the picturesque Mahindra Stadium.
After a couple inroads into the circle, the Marines went up. Troy Sutherland received a perfect cross from right to put them on top.
Nippy inside-forward Hari Prasad ran fast on the right, sent a powerful cross, and saw with joy his effort bear fruit. Calm and composed, Sutherland stopped the ball dead at the centre of the circle before scooping above the head of goalkeeper (1-0). This opportunistic goal put the huge Mumbai stands on celebration mode.
The celebrations against started when sensational forward Joga Singh again proved why he is fast emerging a hero. In a melee, he could retrieve the ball and put home with confidence (2-0).
If the visiting Chandigarh Comets were not on the scoreboard till the last minute of the first quarter it was not for want of efforts. They too penetrated the circle as much as the Marines, but let the chances go abegging. They fell short of shooting skills in the circle.
Ramandeep Singh in particular missed half a dozen sitters.
Lloyd Stephenson sent a freehit from 25-yard area only to see a defender intercepting ahead of rushing goalie Adrian D’souza. He mis-passed, but lurking Sukhwinder came from nowhere of blue to trap and scoop home (2-1).
Gurjinder Singh, who missed the Sultan of Johor Cup recently due to injury, played a saviour role in reviving the fortunes of his side.
His grounders off second and third penalty corners changed the complexion of the game.
Bharat Chhikara and Rehan combined beautifully to trouble the unsettled defense of the Marines subsequently. Even after Rehan was hurt and went out of play in the third quarter, veteran Chhikara took over the mantle and set up many moves.
Ranjodh Singh beat Adrian all ends up in his solo to post the fourth goal.
Still goal hungry, the visitors did not give up and kept attacking and got a stroke at the stroke of hooter. Sukhwinder made no mistake and then happily accepted the man of Man of the Match award.