Jugraj finds the winner for Dynamos

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  1. steve

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    CHENNAI - Drag-flicker Jugraj Singh found his touch with his first goal of the Premier Hockey League, getting Chandigarh Dynamos past Bangalore Lions with a golden goal in the 11 th minute of extra time. This was Chandigarh Dynamos' first win of the PHL, being played at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium. Jugraj got the winning goal with a drag flick in the 11th minute of extra time.

    The win came as a huge relief to the Dynamos, who are bottom of the league. Coach NS Sodhi was all praise for his boys. "We played at 100 per cent today," he said. "The boys followed their instructions and played attacking hockey. We should've won in regular time. We have been improving with every game. Deepak Thakur made a big difference to us today… we were affected by his absence in the first few matches."

    Although the coach claimed that his team had dominated the game, the match itself was a scrappy affair that sprung to life in isolated moments. Neither team rose above the ordinary in the entire first half, which threatened to get violent after constant altercations between rival players. Lions' Dutch midfield Thijs De Greff was stretchered off early in the game after suffering a hit on his right leg. Coach Ashish Ballal said Thijs was taken to hospital, where a report was awaited.

    The Lions were favoured to win, with the Dynamos having had a wretched time so far in the league, but the Bangalore outfit just could not getting their attacks going. Their strike force of Rehan Butt, Tushar Khandekar and Hari Prasad failed to find attacking rhythm, while Arjun Halappa, who should have controlled the midfield, was almost inconspicuous.

    At the other end, the Dynamos looked equally rusty. Deepak Thakur plugged away by himself, but the support from the midfield was not forthcoming. Fellow-striker Prabhjot, though, had a better game than in earlier matches.

    The Dynamos' most interesting move in the first half came when midfielder Bomans Balder sent in a scorcher from outside the 'D', and Prabhjot deflected it goal-wards on the run, but goal-keeper Bharat Chetri was equal to the task.

    Both teams had their moments in the second half. Sajjad Anwar initiated a counter from the deep by passing to Deepak Thakur, who dodged past his markers and set up Prabhjot on the left. Prabhjot took a crack at goal, but Chetri again came up with a good save.

    The Lions' retaliated with Pakistan striker Rehan Butt, who wove his way in along the right and found Amar Aiyamma unmarked at the top of the circle, but Amar fumbled. A short while later, Amar returned the favour, setting up Rehan with a fine pass, but Rehan's shot missed the goal.

    Not until the 67th minute did the Dynamos force a penalty corner, the first of the match. Jugraj's flick was saved well by goal-keeper Bharat Chetri, who had a couple of other saves to his credit.

    The Lions earned a penalty corner early in extra time, Arjun Halappa's hit was well saved by goal-keeper Baljit Singh. Finally, as the match headed towards the tie-breaker, Dynamos' skipper Rajpal Singh made his way into the striking circle and earned a penalty corner. This time Jugraj sent a low flick that beat Chetri, and earned him the 'Lion of the Match' award.

    Dynamos now have four points from five matches, while Lions have nine from five.
     

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