Chennai held to 3-3 draw by Pune at home
Chennai: Chennai Cheetahs dished out a better brand of hockey but Pune Strykers still maintained their undefeated run as their match ended in a pulsating 3-3 draw in the World Series Hockey tournament on Friday.
After an early goal by Adam Sinclair (1st minute), Pakistani drag flicker Imran Warsi (30th, 44th) struck twice converting two penalty corners, including one in the third quarter, to raise hopes for the Cheetahs.
However, Pune was equally up for the task and scored through Roshan Minz (5th) and Bikash Topo (34th) and substitute Simrandeep Randhawa in the fourth quarter to help his team share the honours.
This is the third drawn match for the Pune Strykers, who have maintained their clean slate so far in five matches, with two wins against Delhi Wizards and Mumbai Marines.
As for Chennai Cheetahs they have won two and lost two and with this draw they take their tally to seven points, while Pune Strykers have accrued nine points so far.
In the very first minute, Cheetashs went into the lead when former international Adam Sinclair made good use of a defense lapse by Ken Pereira and grabbed the ball almost at the mouth of the goal to sound the boards.
Chettahs were in control of the game but their goal keeper Jasbir Singh, a junior India player, wilted under pressure from the Pune Strykers and ended up yielded two goals to Warsi.
In the second quarter, Cheetahs managed to score off their 12th minute second penalty corner conversion by Warsi but in the fag end of the quarter Bikas Topno came up with a goal when Jasbir was out of charge.
The ball came off Jasbir`s pads following a try by Mario Almeda off a perfect cross by Strykers biggest star Gurpreet Singh, who had so far accounted for eight goals from four matches. This was Bikas Topno`s third goal in the tournament.
Cheetahs should have been paid for their better display compared to their first home match against Mumbai Marines on last Tuesday.
In fact they were looking to be scoring every time that they were in the Strykers circle but were denied off a good combined effort as young full back Amit Gowda brought off an excellent save at the nick of time when the ball was about to cross the goal line off an Imran Warsi shot.
Cheetahs plays Karnataka Lions on Saturday in their sixth tie, while Strykers take on Chandigarh Comets on Sunday.