PKL 2018: U Mumba beat Haryana Steelers 42-32

U Mumba kept their unbeaten streak in Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season VI going as they beat Haryana Steelers 42-32. Siddharth Desai scored 14 points for U Mumba to lead them to another victory. Desai also became the fastest player to score 50 points in the history of Pro Kabaddi League.  Rohit Baliyan also chipped in with seven points for U Mumba. Monu Goyat finally found some form for Haryana Steelers and got a super 10 but it was a little too late. This was Haryana Steelers’ fourth consecutive defeat of the season.

U Mumba are now top of the table in Zone A whereas Haryana Steelers remain in the fifth spot

This was a match where Haryana Steelers desperately needed a win and they started on a bright note. Monu Goyat looked in good touch as he got a couple of raid points to keep Haryana Steelers neck-to-neck with U Mumba. For the first 15 minutes of the match, Haryana Steelers were in contention to break their losing streak.

In the 16th minute, Siddharth Desai came up with a brilliant super raid and got 6 points (4 touch + 2 for all out) as U Mumba led 19-13. Desai was in outstanding raiding form for U Mumba and got a super 10 in the first half itself. At the end of the first half, U Mumba led 24-13. Haryana’s defence struggled to get going in the first half and scored just one tackle point.Haryana’s defence woke up in the second half as they scored three tackle points in five minutes and reduced U Mumba to just three men. After 26 minutes, U Mumba led 25-18 and were still in control of the match.

U Mumba forced a super tackle in the 29th minute to lead 28-19. Haryana Steelers responded with a couple of super tackles of their own to cut down the lead.

With less than five minutes to go, U Mumba led 33-27 when Siddharth Desai came up with a two-point raid to kill all hopes of Haryana’s comeback. U Mumba inflicted another all out in the 39th minute to extend their lead to 40-29. Monu Goyat came up with a super raid in the dying seconds of the match as they reduced the deficit to nine points

In tomorrow’s matches, Haryana Steelers will take on Dabang Delhi KC whereas Gujarat Fortunegiants will face Puneri Paltan.

PKL 2018: Bengaluru Bulls crush Tamil Thalaivas 44-35

Bengaluru Bulls earned the bragging rights in the Southern derby as they beat Tamil Thalaivas 44-35 in Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season VI. Pawan Sehrawat with 16 points and Kashiling Adake (12 points) were the star performers for Bengaluru as they registered their second consecutive win of the tournament. This was Tamil Thalaivas’ fifth straight defeat and they haven’t won a match since the opening day of the season. Ajay Thakur was once again tried to salvage the match for Thalaivas but couldn’t get enough support.

Kashiling Adake started the match with a bang as he came up with a super raid in the 2nd minute to give Bengaluru Bulls 4-1 lead. Ajay Thakur got his first point of the match in the fourth minute as Tamil Thalaivas trailed 2-4. Kashiling Adake made another successful raid as Bengaluru Bulls inflicted an all out to lead 9-2.

Tamil Thalaivas were clearly struggling a much fitter outfit in Bengaluru Bulls as they didn’t have answer to their raiding prowess. In the sixth minute Pawan Sehrawat came up with a four-point raid to give Bengaluru Bulls 14-3 lead.

Tamil Thalaivas defence had a half to forget as they scored just two tackle points. At the end of the first half Bengaluru Bulls led 25-14 with Kashiling Adake scoring 10 points.

Tamil Thalaivas began the second half strongly as they inflicted an all out in the 24th minute to cut the deficit to 21-29. Tamil Thalaivas tried hard to make a comeback but Bengaluru Bulls’ defence was on top of their game. With their lead cut to just six points, they made to crucial tackles to lead 33-24 in the 30th minute.

Tamil Thalaivas suffered a big blow in the second half when their skipper Ajay Thakur was stretchered off the mat as he suffered an injury. With less than five minutes left, Bengaluru Bulls had opened an 11-point gap and were on course to a comfortable victory.

Tamil Thalaivas forced a super tackle in the 37th minute as they trailed 31-41. Another super tackle was forced by Thalaivas as they trailed 34-43 in the 39th minute. The Thalaivas defence’s poor first half showing was one of the main reason why the suffered another defeat.

In tomorrow’s matches, Haryana Steelers will take on Dabang Delhi KC whereas Gujarat Fortunegiants will face Puneri Paltan.

India are the top contenders to win the Hero Asian Champions Trophy title, says Japan Chief Coach Siegfried Aikman

Muscat, 15 October, 2018: With just three days to go for the start of the much-awaited Hero Asian Champions Trophy Muscat 2018, the top Asian teams have descended on the beautiful Capital city of Muscat for a battle of supremacy in the continent. Asian Games Gold Medalists Japan, who arrived yesterday along with their nemesis Korea, Malaysia and Pakistan, will be joined by Defending Champions India who arrive today. A free-wheeling conversation with the Japanese Coach Siegfried Aikman, a Dutch national of Indian origin, on Monday revealed his team’s strategical approach to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics where they will be gunning for a podium finish.
Aikman, without mincing words said, “We wanted to enter the 2020 Olympic Games not as host nation but as Continental Champions. We had to win big in order to gain that self-confidence that we too can beat big teams and that we are not afraid of teams like Korea, Pakistan, Malaysia or India anymore.”
At the forthcoming Hero Asian Champions Trophy Muscat 2018, Japan will have the platform to reinstate this self-belief and reassert their supremacy in Asia when they take on World No.5 India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Korea, Oman and prove to the world that the Asian Games Gold Medal was not a one-off incident. “Of course we will be playing to win every single match but at the same time we will also be testing quite a few young players who are below the age of 20, in order to select a core group that will give us enough options and also create more competition within the team ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games,” stated Aikman, who is a master at accurately studying the opponents’ weaknesses and successfully using it to Japan’s advantage. It is what they did in the Final of the Asian Games where they were 0-4 at half time against Malaysia but made a sensational comeback to draw 6-6 in regulation time and go into a shootout.
“It was in fact against India that we had planned thoroughly to play against in the Final of Asian Games. After we drew in our final Pool match, we knew we wouldn’t face India in the Semi Final but were expecting to meet them in the Final and had strategically prepared for it. We had strategised differently against them in the pool stage and would used a different strategy had we played them in the Final. However, because of their loss against Malaysia, we will never know how we would have done against them in a Final. I think for our team, it was also critical to have won a few matches against Pakistan in the lead up to the Asian Games that helped boost our confidence,” he added.
At the tournament in Muscat which begins on 18 October 2018, Japan will begin their campaign against Malaysia on the opening day. According to Aikman, his team will not be looking at results as much as they would like to emphasis on their own game. The Dutchman explained, “For us it is extremely important to focus on our own game and work on certain areas that will put us in good stead and help us build on our game for 2020. While we will play to win, results will not matter as much as playing a disciplined game.”
Speaking of who would be the title contenders for this year’s edition, Aikman called out India without skipping a beat. “India are undoubtedly the contenders for winning the tournament. They have the skills, tactical awareness and fitness but they are vulnerable under pressure and that’s the area which we need to capitalize if we want to success against them,” Aikman concluded.        
Japan will take on Malaysia in the opening match at the Hero Asian Champions Trophy Muscat 2018 while India play hosts Oman in the second match of the day. 

Indian U-18 Women’s Hockey Team advance to Final of the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games

Buenos Aires (Argentina), 14 October 2018: A convincing performance from the Indian U-18 Women’s Hockey team saw them secure a place in the Final of the Hockey 5s competition at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games as they defeated China 3-0 in their Semi-Final match held here at the Parque Polideportivo Roca on Saturday. India’s Mumtaz Khan (1′), Reet (5′) and Lalremsiami (13′) were all on target as they secured a Medal by outplaying the Chinese team.

The Semi-Final match saw India dominate right from the start as they put pressure on the Chinese defence by keeping possession. The Indian team were rewarded for their efforts as Mumtaz Khan scored after just 52 seconds to give India a crucial lead. India did not allow their opposition too many chances in the opening period and were happy to keep the possession, creating several chances for themselves from inside and outside the 11-metres area. The 5th minute saw Indian Midfielder Reet attempt a fierce shot from the half-way line, which beat the Chinese Goalkeeper Xinyi Zhu on her right and secured a 2-0 lead for India. China tried to create opportunities in the remaining few minutes but India’s defence made sure that they cleared the danger and took their two-goal advantage into the half-time break.

India dominated the start of the second period as well, finding space in the opposition’s half and creating chances for themselves. In the 13th minute, it was Forward Lalremsiami who was stopped from taking a shot by a Chinese player, which meant that India were awarded a Penalty Challenge. The resulting Challenge was well converted by Lalremsiami as she scored her eighth goal of the competition and gave India a 3-0 lead. India’s Baljeet Kaur and Reet also tested the Chinese defence in the remaining minutes, but could not beat their Goalkeeper as China looked for an opening at the other end of the pitch. Yangyan Gu, Meirong Zou and Anhui Yu all had chances for China but could not keep their shots on target as India secured a convincing Semi-Final win.

The win for the Indian U-18 Women’s team means they will play the Final of the competition on 14th October 2018 at 01.10hrs IST against the winner of the other Semi-Final match between hosts Argentina and South Africa.

Indian U-18 Men’s Hockey Team progress to Final of the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games

Buenos Aires (Argentina), 14 October 2018: The Indian U-18 Men’s Hockey Team produced a fine display to register their place in the Final of the Hockey 5s competition at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games as they defeated hosts Argentina 3-1 in their Semi-Final match held here at the Parque Polideportivo Roca on Saturday. Sudeep Chirmako (12′, 18′) and Rahul Kumar Rajbhar (3′) scored for India as they secured a Medal by defeating hosts Argentina, for whom Captain Facundo Zarate scored in the 4th minute.
A tough encounter for the Indian team saw them score an important first goal in the 3rd minute as Rahul Kumar Rajbhar beat the Argentine Goalkeeper Nehuen Hernando to give his team the lead. However, Argentina were quick to equalize as they scored through Facundo Zarate in the 4th minute to set up an exciting Semi-Final. Both the teams had chances in the remaining six minutes of the first period but both the Goalkeepers made some fine saves to keep the scores locked at 1-1 at half-time.
In the second period, India maintained pressure in the opening couple of minutes and benefited from it as they took the lead in the 12th minute through Sudeep Chirmako who produced a fine finish to swing the match in India’s favour. India’s Goalkeeper Prashant Chauhan kept his team in the lead as he was called into action again in the next few minutes to deny the hosts of an equalizer. Whereas, India’s attackers also created chances and were successful again in the 18th minute as Sudeep Chirmako scored his second goal of the match to secure a two-goal advantage for the Indian team. Argentina tried to make a comeback in the dying minutes but the match was well managed by the Indian team as the defenders denied the hosts of any real chances to see the match out and secure a place in the Final of the competition.
The Indian U-18 Men’s Hockey team will face their Asian counterparts Malaysia in the Final of the Hockey 5s competition on 14th October 2018 at 23.30hrs IST.

PKL Season 6: Haryana Steelers defeated Gujarat in the first match at home

Haryana Steelers began their home leg of Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season VI as they beat Gujarat Fortunegiants 32-25. Steelers’ star raider Monu Goyat scored seven points and was ably supported by Kuldeep Singh who chipped in with seven points as well. For Gujarat, Sachin and Prapanjan combined to score 17 points. It was an all round effort from Haryana which propelled them to win the match.

Haryana Steelers were the better team in the first half as they scored raid points at will. With Monu and Kuldeep inflicting bulk of damage on Gujarat. Just before the end of the first half, Haryana Steelers inflicted an all out and led 20-13 at the break.

The fittest player of the match was Kuldeep Singh who looked sharper than all other raiders on the mat.

In the crowd was Olympic Games bronze medalist Yogeshwar Dutt who is also the brand ambassador for Haryana to cheer them on. In front of raucous home crowd, Steelers continued to pile on the pressure on Gujarat Fortunegiants.

Sunil Kumar at the back for Gujarat was a rock and scored five tackle points. In the second half it was once again Haryana Steelers who dominated the proceedings.

The bravest moment of the match came from Prapanjan who scored back to back raids to get Gujarat back in the game.

However it wasn’t enough as Haryana Steelers maintained their composure to win the match 32-25.

In tomorrow’s matches Telugu Titans will play UP Yoddha while Haryana Steelers face U Mumba.

Indian Junior Men’s Hockey Team lose 2-3 to Great Britain

Johor Bahru (Malaysia), 07 October 2018: The Indian Junior Men’s Hockey team lost a hard-fought encounter 2-3 to Great Britain in the last round robin match here at the 8th Sultan of Johor Cup 2018 on Friday. However, with four wins on the trot earlier in the tournament, the Indian Junior Men’s Team qualified for the Final with 12 points. Great Britain are placed second in the points table with 10 points from five games out of which they won three matches.     
On Friday, the Indian Junior Men’s Team led by Mandeep Mor made a strong start making potential forays in the striking circle. The tactic fetched them two back-to-back PCs in the 5th minute and Vishnukant Singh converted the second attempt after a good variation. But the following minute Great Britain, last year’s Runner’s up, scored a brilliant field goal through Cameron Golden to equalise 1-1. 
In the second quarter too, India continued to keep up the momentum stretching Great Britain’s defense. While the first PC went amiss, the second PC was well-struck by Shilanand Lakra in the 20th minute which was handy work of good variation and deflection that helped them take a 2-1 lead. The third quarter though belonged to Great Britain, as they tested the Indian defence. Defensive errors in the circle on India’s part saw them give away back to back PCs. Great Britain didn’t miss this opportunity as they scored in the 39th minute through Stuart Rushmere. 
The English put Indian defence under pressure in the final quarter as they found ways to create chances in the circle. A PC earned in the 51st minute saw them convert their third goal through Captain Edward Way and eventually defended the score-line to hand Indian Junior Men’s Team their first loss in the tournament. 
Indian Junior Men’s Team will next play the Final on 13 October 2018 at 18.05hrs IST.

Indian U-18 Men’s Hockey Team progress to Semi-Finals of Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games

Buenos Aires (Argentina), 12 October 2018: The Indian U-18 Men’s Hockey Team continued to impress at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games as they defeated Poland 4-2 in their Quarter-Final match held here at the Parque Polideportivo Roca on Friday and progress to the Semi-Finals of the fast-paced Hockey 5s competition. India’s well fought victory saw Shivam Anand (1′, 8′) score twice as Maninder Singh (3′) and Sanjay (17′) also registered their names on the score-sheet. Poland’s goals were scored by Eryk Bembenek (16′) and Michal Nowakowski (18′).

India started the match well and rocketed to a 2-0 lead inside the first three minutes as Forward Shivam Anand scored the first goal within 48 seconds of the beginning while Midfielder Maninder Singh scored the second in the 3rd minute after fellow team-mate Sudeep Chirmako had missed the target in the 2nd minute. Poland, on the other hand, did not back down and forced Indian Goalkeeper Prashant Chauhan to make four brilliant saves in the first period. India’s Shivam Anand made sure that Poland went into the half-time break three goals down as the Indian scored his second of the match in the 7th minute and help his team dominate the encounter.

The second period saw Poland produce some more shots at the Indian goal which helped them in pulling a goal back in the 16th minute through Eryk Bembenek, who scored after several attempts were wasted by his teammates. However, India’s Sanjay helped his team in restoring the three-goal advantage as he scored past Polish Goalkeeper Jakub Gebler to make the scoreline 4-1. The Polish team tried to create more chances to turn the match around and found a second goal in the 18th minute which was scored by Michal Nowakowski, but it turned out to be too little, too late for the Europeans as India secured their passage through to the Semi-Finals of the competition.

The Indian U-18 Men’s Hockey team will face the winner of the Quarter-Final match between hosts Argentina and Bangladesh.

India will be playing their Semi-Final match on 13th October 2018 from 22.30hrs IST onwards.

Indian U-18 Women’s Hockey Team progress to Quarter-Finals of Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games

Buenos Aires (Argentina), 12 October 2018: The Indian U-18 Women’s Hockey team on Thursday produced a decisive performance to defeat South Africa 5-2 in their fifth and final Pool A match of the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games held here at the Parque Polideportivo Roca. The victory saw India secure their spot in the Quarter-Finals of the Hockey 5s competition as they finished in the second spot with a tally of 12 points, behind leaders Argentina.

Mumtaz Khan (2′, 17′), Reet (10′), Lalremsiami (12′) and Ishika Chaudhary (13′) scored in India’s convincing victory over South Africa as the team ended the Pool stages on a positive after Wednesday’s defeat to hosts Argentina.

The match against South Africa saw India score their first goal inside the opening two minutes as Mumtaz Khan scored off her first shot. Both the teams had their chances in the first period, and it was South Africa’s turn to make the most of the opportunity as they scored the equalizer in the 10th minute through Kayla de Waal. However, India’s Reet made sure that her team went into the half-time break with a 2-1 lead as she scored emphatically with just five seconds remaining on the clock.

The start of the second period saw India’s Mumtaz Khan force two saves off the South African Goalkeeper Mishka Ellis, but it was Lalremsiami who benefited from the constant pressure as she scored India’s third goal in the 12th minute. Iskika Chaudhary also registered her name on the score-sheet as she popped up in the 13th minute to extend India’s lead to 4-1, while Mumtaz Khan scored her second of the match in the 17th minute to make the scoreline 5-1 in India’s favour. South Africa tried to make a comeback into the match in the dying stages but could only pull a goal back in the 19th minute through Angela Welham, as India registered their fourth win in five matches to secure the second spot in Pool A.

The Indian U-18 Women’s team will now play in the Quarter-Finals of the competition which will be held on 12th October 2018 from 22.30hrs IST onwards.