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Brilliant comeback by Hi-Fliers

Chandigarh, Jan 9 (UNI) A resilient Bangalore Hi-Fliers chalked out a convincing 4-2 victory over Chandigarh Dynamos in the second final to level the best-of-three finals 1-1 at the Sector 42 Hockey Stadium here today.

Dynamos won the first final on Monday.

Once again, Bangalore Hi-Fliers fell in arrears early on and were down 0-2 but made a brilliant comeback to equalise before half time and went on to add two more goals to win the match 4-2.

Dynamos began on an attacking note and earned their first short corner within 30 seconds of the start but a bad stop during the penalty corner drill denied Sandeep Singh, their drag-flick specialist and top-scorer of the tournament till now, a chance to increase his tally. However, Chandigarh took the lead in the 10 th minute following a counterattack after an aborted Hi-Fliers' penalty corner. Rajpal Singh put S S Gill in possession in the midfield and the latter sent a through ball into the circle. Bangalore defender Len Aiyappa stopped the ball but fumbled with the hit and Dynamos' striker Deepak Thakur stole the ball and shot home to surprise Bharat Chetri in Bangalore goal.

Dynamos increased the lead in the 22nd minute with a quick transfer of the ball from defence to attack. Dynamos' Pakistani import Zeeshan Ashraf gained control from an overhead pass by Hi-Fliers' Len Aiyappa and quickly found Inderjit Singh in the midfield. Inderjit gave a through pass to skipper Rajpal Singh, who took a crack at the goal as soon as he entered the circle and the ball flew into the net.

Undaunted by the double reversal, Bangalore Hi-Fliers drew one back within a minute to make it 2-1. In the 23rd minute, they earned their third of the four penalty corners on the day. Len Aiyappa's low drag-flick was blocked by rival custodian Baljit Singh and Tushar Khandekar collected the rebound and passed it to Sandeep Michael near the left post and Sandeep found the target without any fuss.

Bangalore continued to attack and held the whip-hand in the second quarter. Their repeated raids got them the equalizer in the 32nd minute through a filed goal by their Korean import You Hyo-sik, who scored two goals for Bangalore today.

It was Arjun Halappa who initiated the move from the midfield and gave to Tushar Khandekar. Tushar wriggled out of his marker and passed it to Hariprasad in the circle. Hari took a shot but the rebound from the goalkeeper came back to him and his weak second attempt was deflected home from near the post by You Hyo-sik.

In the 42nd minute, You Hyo-sik struck again in similar fashion, deflecting from hand-shaking distance near the far past after Tushar Khandekar put him in. Thereafter, Dynamos tried hard to restore parity but Hi-Fliers continued to attack. Their efforts paid dividends as they took the match out of Dynamos' hands in the 61 st minute to make it 4-2.

Bangalore Hi-Fliers' Korean import You Hyo-sik, who scored a brace, was declared man of the match.


Story first published: Wednesday, January 9, 2008, 23:38 [IST]
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