Ranchi: Defending champions Ranchi Rhinos staved off a stiff challenge before prevailing over Kalinga Lancers 3-2 in a league match of the second Hero Hockey India League, here today.
Ranchi scored through Ashley Jackson (6th minute), skipper Furste Moritz (57th) and Amon Tirkey (63th), while Kalinga reduced the margin with the help of Peillat Gonzalo (32nd) and captain Kiel Brown (51th).
After this match, Rhinos now have 18 points from five matches with three wins, one lose and one drawn result, while Lancers are languishing at fifth spot with just 8 points after suffering their fourth defeat in five matches.
Jackson converted the first penalty corner to help the hosts draw first blood in the sixth minute of the match.
Amon Tirkey earned the penalty corner after receving the ball from right flank and Ashley`s delayed drag got past the goalie, Harjot Singh.
However, the visitors came back to equalise just before the half time in the 32nd minute when Gonzalo Peilleit converted one of the series of penalty corner chances, striking the ball past the goalie after it hit the back of the net.
After the break, Kalinga took the lead when Lalit dodged a defender and gently passed the ball to Kiel Brown, who didn`t make any mistake in the 51st minute.
However, Ranchi was undettered and Furste brought up the equaliser when he dived and sent the ball to the right corner of the goal. Six minutes later, Ranchi`s Amon Tirkey took the game away from the visitors when he grabbed the ball from Ashley and beat goalie to seal the issue in Rhinos` favour.