Chandigarh, Bangalore enter finals

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Chandigarh, Jan 5 (UNI) Chandigarh Dynamos and Bangalore Hi-Fliers today qualified for best of three finals in the fourth edition of the Premier Hockey League here.

Both teams huffed and puffed before overcoming the stiff resistance from their respective rivals in the semi-finals matches which were extended to shoot-outs.

Strong contenders Chandigarh Dynamos got the better of spirited Hyderabad Sultans 5-3 after a goalless regulation period and sharing two goals in the extra time for silver goal in the first semi-final encounter.

Later, Bangalore Hi-Fliers struggled to defeat a never-say-die and defending champions Orissa Steelers by an aggregate 5-4 margin.

Bangalore Hi-Fliers, down by two goals staged a splendid rally to restore parity in the 70-minute regulation period. The extra time of ten minutes remained unproductive. The second semi-final was also decided on shootouts.

For Orissa Steelers only Prabodh Tirkey and Roshan Minz scored while Damandeep, William Xalco and Berendra Lakra failed in their tries.

Bangalore Hi-Fliers scored through Arjun Halappa, Vikram Kanth and Sandeep Michael. Captain Tushar Khandekar and Korean You Hyo Sik muffed their chances.

Earlier, in the tie-breaker, Orissa Steelers, led by Dilip Tirkey, got a flying start as they scored two goals within a span of five minutes with a brace by Sunil Ekka. Sunil Ekka first converted their first penalty corner in the 11th minute and scored a field goal in the 16th minute.

Bangalore Hi-Fliers counter attacked and were awarded their first penalty corner in the 23rd minute which drag flicker Len Aiyappa converted it in a smooth action. With eight minutes remaining, Hi-Fliers forced their third penalty corner and Len Aiyappa again found the target to place his team at par.

Bharath Kumar Chettery gave an outstanding display under Bangalore cage to be named man of the match.

In their league match, Bangalore Hi-Fliers had beaten Orissa Steelers by 6-5 in shootout session on December 21.

Chandigarh Dynamos had prevailed over Hyderabad Sultans by 1-0 in the inaugural league match of the PHL. Dynamos had beaten Bangalore Hi-Fliers by 2-0 in their league fixture.

Tomorrow will be the rest day and the first final of the best-of-three will be played on January 7.

UNI XC PS BP2116

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