Odisha Sun Times Sports Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 22:
Host Kalinga Lancers beat visiting Ranchi Rays 6-3 in the inaugural match of the 3rdedition of Hero Hockey India League held at the kalinga Stadium in the Odisha capital.
Lancers, playing as they were on their home turf, had a huge psychological advantage from a reshuffled team and the boisterous support of the home crowd.
A hueg cheer went up from the crowd as the a shot from the new face in the team, Lucas Vila’s ricoheted off the Ranchi keeper and crawled over the line for the first goal by the home team while Vikram Kanth scored the next.
A few minutes into the game and two goals down, Ranchi captain Ashley Jackson received a green card and had to go off the field for two minutes. However, he more than made up for it by scoring a penalty corner for the team once back in the field in the third quarter of the game.
Kalinga Lancers broke the game with two goals in the space of two minutes in the 2nd quarter and two minutes later, the Lancers garbbed their chance with Gurjinder Singh scoring from a penalty corner to make it 4-2.
Skipper Ashley Jackson scored again from a penalty corner to pull one back for the team, with his 2nd of the night. The team, however, missed a penalty corner allowing the home team to hold on to their lead.
Mohammad Amir Khan of Lancers scored another goal in the 88th minute to take the tally to 5-3 and Devindar Walmiki deflected Mohammad Khan’s shot into the net at the very last moment to finish the game at 6-3.
The coveted event was inaugurated in a glittering ceremony this evening as we reported here: http://odishasuntimes.com/109597/glittering-start-hockey-india-league-odisha-capital/ )