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Second defeat for Steelers

Chandigarh: Defending champions Orissa Steelers crashed to their second successive defeat in the PHL here on Saturday, losing to local favourites Chandigarh Dynamos 0-2.

The Dynamos, who began the competition on a winning note, got an early lead when a good move by skipper Rajpal Singh and Deepak Thakur in the 5th minute yielded result.

Prabhjot made no mistake and a gentle deflect from his stick gave the Dynamos the lead. Despite launching many attacks, the Steelers, who were being led by stand-in captain Prabodh Tirkey, had no success. The Steelers’ misery was also compounded by the chances that went a-begging.

In the first quarter itself, Shakeel Abassi missed a good chance of scoring out of a good move went waste.

Down by a goal at the half-time, the Steelers tried to fight hard in the third quarter and earned a penalty corner in the seventh minute of that quarter.

Just when the Steelers started celebrating thinking that Joga Singh had scored the goal for them of the penalty corner, umpire Raghu Prasad disallowed the goal citing dangerous play.

High drama continued for a few minutes on the field, with the Steelers insisting that the goal was a genuine one. Even their regular captain Dilip Tirkey, who was out due to injury, joined in and tried to put pressure on umpire to refer the matter to the third umpire.

Tournament director Kukoo Walia had to intervene, but umpire Prasad after brief consultation with other on-field umpire Bhupinder Singh, stood his ground.

The Steelers were in for more trouble when Prabhjot fired his second goal in the dying moments of the third quarter to take his team 2-0 up.

Rajpal Singh built up a good move by dodging many players before finally deflecting it to Deepak Thakur, who gave a beautiful pass to Prabhjot to seal the Steelers’ fate.

Meanwhile, Hyderabad Sultans caused an upset by blanking Sher-e-Jalandahr 3-0.

The Sultans, who lost to the Dynamos in the opener, combined well after the second half and played attacking hockey. On the other hand, the forward line of their opponents looked disjointed and Shers had to pay the price.

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