Comets have edge against Strykers in second semifinal
Mumbai: Chandigarh Comets are expected to hold a slight edge over Pune Strykers when the two teams clash in the second semifinal of the USD 2 million World Series Hockey tournament, at the MHA-Mahindra Stadium on Sunday.
The Comets finished on top of the table with 28 points -- from nine wins and four losses -- and they had won both their round-robin ties against their semifinal rivals -- who ended up fourth -- with 3-1 and 4-3 margins respectively.
The Chandigarh outfit trailed 0-3 after an eight-minute blitz from their speedy Pune rivals on March 19, levelled the scores and then got the winner in the dying moments at home after having won quite comfortably the away game eight days earlier.
The Comets have relied a lot on penalty corner expert Gurjinder Singh, who is the second highest goal-getter with 13 strikes, and Canadian import Sukhwinder `Gabbar` Singh (10 goals).
Former Pakistan captain Rehan Butt and star India international Bharat Chikara have combined well with Sukhwinder for the northern outfit.
The Strykers` defenders would have a tough time in handling the trio and also in foiling penalty corner expert Gurjinder who has a golden chance to overtake the eliminated Chennai Cheetahs` Pakistan import Imran Warsi (16 goals) as the highest scorer of the tournament.
Strykers have shown a penchant for quick goals and had slammed in four in a short period against Mumbai Marines in a rip-roaring game here at the beginning of this month.
They will depend on penalty corner specialists Gurpreet Singh and Simrandeep Randhawa for goals, and the team also possess a speedy set of players to trouble any team.
Strykers finished the league stage with 21 points, including six wins, and would be eager to avenge their earlier defeats.