Jaypee Punjab Warriors scored two field goals in the final quarter to record a crucial 4-1 win over Kalinga Lancers in the Coal India Hockey India League (HIL) at the Kalinga Stadium here on Sunday.
Glenn Turner gave the hosts the 1-0 lead in the 43rd minute with a penalty corner deflection but Punjab came out with two field goals, each counted as two in this edition of HIL, as Player of the Match Simon Orchard (49th) and Satbir Singh (58th) found the targets.
With this win, Warriors jumped to the second place -- same as Lancers but behind on goal difference -- as the hosts, despite the defeat, maintained their top spot in the league.
Lancers play their final home match on Monday when they face the third-placed Ranchi Rays in the eastern derby.
Turner’s strike overpowered by Warriors’ counter-attack
Both Warriors and Lancers started the match on a passive note with neither being able to create good chances in the first quarter. But as the match progressed, the teams found the rhythm, especially Punjab, as they threatened the Lancers in the dying moments of the second quarter that resulted in four back-to-back penalty corners.
But Lancers' defence stood tall against the visiting drag-flickers Jasjit Khular and Varun Kumar as the first 30 minutes of play yielded no goals. Continuing their momentum, the visiting side, coached by Australian Barry Dancers, pushed forward and skipper Sardar Singh earned a penalty corner in the 36th minute but the variation didn't work.
Lancers then earned a penalty corner in the 42nd minute and Turner deflected home a variation strategy from Moritz Furste, much to the jubilation of the Kalinga crowd.
However, Warriors, driven by the hard working Sardar, found the lead in the 49th minute. Sardar played the ball to Matt Gohdes, whose cross from the right was tapped in by compatriot Orchard, getting the better of goalkeeper Andrew Charter and Pardeep Mor.
The home team, stunned by the field goal, responded strongly by earning three quick penalty corners but they couldn’t convert any of them into goals.
Even though Furste twice fed Turner with tactical precision and superb vision, the Australian was not able to deliver the punch, and on the turnover, Warriors increased their lead to 4-1 as Jasjit drilled a long ball inside the circle that found a touch from an unmarked Satbir and went in, giving the two-time runners-up five crucial points.Published 08 Feb 2016, 13:53 IST