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Warriors overcome Shers

Hyderabad: Maratha Warriors rallied from a goal behind to halt the winning run of Sher-e-Jalandhar 2-1 in the Premier Hockey League (PHL) Tier I match here on Sunday.

The Viren Rasquinha-led side, which was trailing by a goal till halftime scored once each in the next two quarters through Kasif Jawad (42nd) and Vijay Alfanso (55th) against the run of play to collect three points from the encounter.

The Warriors now have 10 points from seven outings while the Jalandhar side, which had won four of their earlier five matches, remained on 11 points from six matches and are on second spot.

Hyderabad Sultans lead the table with 16 points from seven matches.

Jalandhar skipper Gagan Ajit Singh drew first blood in the 15th minute, thanks to a defensive lapse by Saqlain Mohammed.

Taking advantage of the mistake, Prabhjot Singh picked the ball outside the 25-yard line and passed it to Gagan who slammed it home to give his team the lead.

After a barren second quarter, Jawad drew parity by tapping a pass from the flanks to beat Jalandhar custodian hands down.

Alphanso then sealed the points for his team with an opportunistic strike.

Though the honours went to Warriors, it was the Jalandhar side which called the shots for most period in the match.

The men from north took control of the game early and dictated terms pushing the Marathas to the corner and forced as many as four penalty corners in the first quarter.

But some good defending on the goalline by Pakistan international Ali Raza ensured that the Marathas kept their opponents at bay till Gagan found the net.

The Shers continued to mount pressure on the Warriors but their defence stood up to the challenge and held the aggressive attack line led by Gagan and Deepak Thakur pretty well.

It was the turn of the Maratha forwards to get into the act as Jawad found the equaliser, thereby giving the match an interesting twist.

With the PHL going into the last week, only Sher-e-Jalandhar and Hyderabad Sultans have a chance to lift the title.

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