15th February, 2016, Chandigarh: Jaypee Punjab Warriors displayed spectacular hockey today to come back from behind to finish their clash against Kalinga Lancers in a tie. The match which ended with four goals to each sides also marked the first draw of the 4th Coal India Hockey India League. Jaypee Punjab Warriors who now have 29 points in their kitty, become the second team after defending champions and points table leaders Ranchi Rays to book a berth for the playoffs in the tournament. The playoffs and finals will be played at the Astro Turf hockey stadium in Ranchi on the 20th and 21st February 2016. The tickets for the playoffs and finals are available for purchase on www.ticketgenie.in and at selected locations in Ranchi.
The match began with the visitors pressing hard to score. While Jaypee Punjab Warriors put up a decent show in the first few minutes, but the Kalinga Lancers set up a strong attacking front to break through the hosts’ defensive wall. Kalinga Lancers drew first blood in the 14th minute through a field goal from Malak Singh taking an early lead of 2-0 over Jaypee Punjab Warriors as the first quarter came to an end. The second quarter witnessed the Kalinga Lancers playing a very attacking game. The visitors tried hard to capitalise on their lead but some beautiful work from the defenders and the Jaypee Punjab Warriors goal keeper ensured that Kalinga Lancers did not cause them any further damage. The Lancers however did not lose hope and their attacking efforts finally yielded results with a second field goal from Quirjin Caspers in the 29th minute extending their lead to 4-0 in the match at the end of the second quarter.
The third quarter began with Jaypee Punjab Warriors looking more organised making synchronised moves with the intent to score, but Kalinga Lancers seemed way more in control of the game denying the hosts any chance to score. Kalinga who on the counter tried attacking continuously, were unable to score due to some scintillating saves from Triston Clemans. Jaypee Punjab Warriors, who seemed to be playing with a different strategy in the second half stuck to the basics and kept on attacking at regular interval. They finally found success through a field goal from Matthew Ghodes in the 35th minute taking the score to 2-4 still in the favour of Kalinga Lancers. The rest of the third quarter saw many attacking moves from both the teams but none of them could materialise into a goal. The final quarter of the match began with Kalinga Lancers trying hard to score but the Jaypee Pynjab Warriors defenders proved their worth keeping the Kalinga Lancers’ forward line at bay. The hosts who tried hard to score could not taste success until the 59th minute when a spectacular field goal from Jake Whetton finally got the hosts the much needed equaliser (4-4) in the match giving the first draw of the 4thCoal India Hockey India League.
The Coal India Goal of the Match award of INR 50,000 was presented by Mr. KS Patro, Director Personnel, Eastern Coal Field Limited to Jake Whetton from Jaypee Punjab Warriors while Kalinga Lancers’ Captain, Moritz Fuerste walked away with the Most Entertaining Player of the Match award. Mark Knowles, Captain, Jaypee Punjab Warriors won the Man of the Match award of INR 50,000 while Matthew Dawson from Kalinga Lancers won the Hero Emerging Player of the Match award of INR 25,000.
The next match of the 4th edition of the Coal India Hockey India League will be played between Dabang Mumbai H.C. and Uttar Pradesh Wizards at the Mahindra Stadium, Mumbai on the 16th February 2016.
The six team annual franchise based hockey league, the flagship event of Hockey India – the apex body governing the sport in the country and sanctioned by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) is being played across six venues in India from 18th January – 21st February 2016.