Ruthless Shers run over Comets in return leg
- Sher-E-Punjab beat Chandigarh Comets 5-2 in ‘revenge tie’
- Deepak Thakur strikes three goals; while VS Vinaya and Harpreet Singh add one each for Shers
- Sher Singh and Robert Green reduce the margin for Comets
Sher-E-Punjab star VS Vinaya’s salute, standing at the corner of the Chandigarh Comets territory, to celebrate his goal, the team’s second, said it all. After the initial tussle for dominance which seemed to suggest a close contest on cards, the difference in class became crystal clear as Sher-E-Punjab took a 3-0 lead going into halftime. It would take a miracle for Harendra Singh’s Chandigarh Comets to turn the tables around, but there were not many takers for optimism on Friday here at the Olympian Surjeet Singh Stadium.
For the record, Sher-E-Punjab beat Chandigarh Comets 5-2, though the difference between the two sides in the field was much more than the scoreline actually suggests. Comets struck their second goal through a penalty-corner taken after the final hooter when the match was practically over for them.
Deepak Thakur struck thrice in the match, breaking the deadlock in the 25th minute, which practically opened the floodgates for Sher-E-Punjab. In the span of five minutes, the host struck twice over through medio VS Vinaya (31st minute) and penalty-corner specialist Harpreet Singh made no mistake with his conversion (35th minute). Sher Singh struck back for Comets after halftime in the 56th minute, but a rampaging Thakur terrorized the Comets camp with two more goals within three minutes (57th and 60th minute respectively). Green’s conversion after the hooter stood merely for the record.
Comets, who were on the upswing before this match, will be seriously pondering over their chances in the tournament after suffering this humiliation. The hosts proved their dominance in almost all the department in the ‘revenge’ tie – Shers attack had more options and variation with Gagan Ajit Singh and Deepak Thakur taking turns to spearhead the attack with solid support from Pakistani star Tariq Aziz and Mandip Antil respectively, their defence kept a tight lease as Harpal Singh, William Xalco and Harpreet Singh foiled almost every move in the D.
Midfielder Vinaya played the perfect role in linking both the defence and forward with some piercing crosses and timely interceptions. Comets’ Canadian star Sukhwinder ‘Gabbar’ Singh was their lone forward to make some impressive moves but he lacked enough support upfront.
Schedule for March 17:
Sher-E-Punjab vs Bhopal Badshahs at Surjeet Singh Stadium, Jalandhar at 7pm; Karnataka Lions vs Chennai Cheetahs at Mayor Radhakrishnan Hockey Stadium, Chennai, 9pm. Live on Neo Sports and Neo Cricket.