HIL: Punjab enter semis after exciting draw with Kalinga

Chandigarh, Feb 15 (IANS) Jaypee Punjab Warriors scored a field goal in the dying minutes of the game to ensure a 4-4 draw against Kalinga Lancers and secure a place in the Coal India Hockey India League (HIL) semi-finals here on Monday.

Matthew Gohdes (35th minute) and Jake Whetton (59th) scored field goals for Punjab after Malak Singh (14th) and Quirjin Caspers (29th) had given the Lancers a 4-0 lead. Field goals are being counted as two in this edition of the HIL.

After this draw, Punjab are in the second place with 29 points from ten games, having won five, drawn one and lost four, whereas Lancers have 25 points from nine games, having won four, drawn four and lost one.

Punjab became the second team after defending champions and points table leaders Ranchi Rays to book a berth for the playoffs in the tournament.

Lancers drew first blood through a field goal from Malak Singh taking an early lead of 2-0 over Warriors as the first quarter came to an end.

The second quarter witnessed the Lancers playing a very attacking game. Their efforts finally yielded results with a second field goal from Quirjin Caspers which took their lead to 4-0 in the second quarter.

The third quarter began with Warriors looking more organised, making synchronised moves with the intent to score, but Lancers seemed way more in control of the game denying the hosts any chance to score.

Punjab finally found success through a field goal from Matthew Gohdes in the 35th minute to reduce the deficit. The final quarter of the match began with Lancers trying hard to score but Punjab 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, thus producing the first draw of this year’s HIL.

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