Chennai saw better of killer cats, Sher-e-Jalandhar and Banglore Lions both winning but in low scoring ties, Shers from Jalandhar were bit different from last edition, Gagan Ajit knows back-flick good, but I sometimes feel is it the only thing he knows at all, his acceleration is like old indian Luna mopeds, he is no longer nimble and clever in field and his attitude is as public as birthday of Amitabh Bachchan, he can play reverse flick to even penalty stroke, his penalty stroke was more looking like as if he was trying to hit Goalie Baljit Singh, I wonder whether he can net the ball even if there is no goal-keeper at all. God save Jarnail Singh who produced only goal of the tie that too from Penalty Corner. Changarh Dynamo looked Physically Fit, physically because Jugraj Singh tried to show that his shoulders have more power than his stick. Anyway Jugraj may be umpires are not watching you but ESPN has invested crores to make sure people are.
Score Line Sher 1 – 0 Dynamos
Shakal looking Len Aiyappa is a nice humble man, but he never let his heart overshadow his drag-flicks, he creates speed, and that was done to Adrian D’Souza Adrian is if not world’s best but surely one of the best goalie in the business. No less than half-a-dozen close opportunities went abegging as the Warriors began their domination midway through the first quarter. There were a few others which were on target but they had to contend with a rock called Bharat Chetri, the Bangalore Lions goalkeeper who had an outstanding match.
Lions started off with a bang, using their attacking instincts to good effect. Pakistan’s Rehan Butt, Sandeep Michael and Tushar Khandekar were all over the rival area, probing and attempting to open up the defence. By the 13th minute, the Lions were up by a goal, Len converting their second penalty corner. The goal buttressed the loss of Ignace Tirkey, who had to beat a hasty retreat in the very first minute after suffering a blow to the knee. He did not take the field again. This had an adverse effect on the midfield. And, it was only a matter of time before the Warriors took over. With Lions’ Vinay fumbling on the right, Warriors first aimed at the goal via Shivender. His attempt came off the upright but Gurbaj got the rebound to send home a thunderous shot. Warriors forced six penalty corners to Lions five. The percentage of exchanges was much the same till that decisive moment during extra time when Hari was dispossessed by Rasquinha. The penalty corner that followed was Len Aiyappa’s for the asking.