Mumbai: Pune Strykers slammed in three goals in the last quarter in the space of 10 minutes to edge out Mumbai Marines 7-5 to open their campaign on a winning note in a rousing World Series Hockey encounter at the MHA-Mahindra Stadium on Thursday.
Pune Strykers had to thank their penalty corner expert Gurpreet Singh who notched up four goals, including two in the last quarter, for their come-from-behind victory over Mumbai who led 4-3 at the halfway stage of the match.
Apart from Gurpreet, the other goal scorers for Pune -- who took a 3-1 lead in the first quarter before allowing Mumbai to come back -- were Mario Almada, Lungile Tsolekile and Roshan Minz, who scored the last goal in the match.
For Mumbai, who lacked an effective penalty corner drag-flicker and who forced only 5 penalty corners as compared to their rivals` 13, speedy front-liner Joga Singh scored thrice(not a hat-trick) while Aljub Ekka and Troy Sutherland completed the tally.
Pune, for whom Vikas Pillay played a crucial role in the midfield in the first three quarters, went ahead very early in the match through a well-struck deflection into the far corner of the rival goal by Argentinian forward Almada.
Mumbai attacked immediately but Pune custodian Gurpreet Singh Guri could not be beaten by Prabhodh Tirkey and it was the home team`s goal which fell again immediately afterwards. Pune forced two penalty corners in succession and their drag-flicker Gurpreet Singh scored off the second, with an effort to the left of Mumbai custodian Adrian D`Souza.
The first quarter ended with Pune up 2-0. Mumbai reduced the margin immediately after resumption in the second quarter when Australian Troy Sutherland was lying in wait for a long through ball hit from the home team`s half near the rival goal, and pushed in with the Pune defence caught napping.