Kalinga Lancers beat Ranchi Rays to make finals of Hockey India League 2016
The Kalinga Lancers beat defending champions Ranchi Rays after a penalty shootout at the semi-finals of the 2016 edition of the Hockey India League in Ranchi to progress to the finals.
Visitors Kalinga Lancers led the home side for much of the game after a second-quarter penalty corner taken by Gurjinder Singh in the 22nd minute of the match.
Although the Rays managed a number of penalty corner opportunities, with Ashley Jackson on each, they remained unable to build on them going into the second half of the match, with the Lancers still leading 1-0.
The final ten minutes of play would be the most action-packed. The Ranchi Rays were awarded yet another opportunity to equalise with another penalty corner, but Sandeep Singh was not able to capitalize on the opportunity.
Following this, the Lancers were awarded a penalty corner, which was taken successfully by tournament top scorer Glenn Turner, who took the scores to 2-1 in favour of the Kalinga Lancers.
With the final 3 minutes of play to go, it looked to be all but over for the home side – but a foot fault put paid to that, with the Rays awarded a final penalty corner. This time, Jackson hit straight at the goal, with Tim Deavin taking the deflection and neatly slotting it.
In the last 58 seconds of play, the Ranchi Rays equalized scores at 2-2, and the scores remained that way until the end of regulation time. In the event that teams are tied at the end of full time, they go into a penalty shootout, with each side given five attempts to score.
Ranchi missed their first penalty corner, while the Lancers managed theirs successfully. Both teams took their next two, with scores standing at 2-3 to the Lancers.
Home side Ranchi missed their next one, giving the Kalinga Lancers an insurmountable 2-4 lead and match victory at the Astroturf Hockey Stadium in Ranchi.
This will be the first ever final for the Lancers, who will face off against 2015 runners-up Jaypee Punjab Warriors in the finals of the event.
Punjab beat the Delhi Waveriders in the first semi-final of the night, taking a convincing 3-1 victory.