Karan stars in Bhopal Badshahs win in WSH

March 5th, 2012 - 10:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, March 5 (IANS) Three snap goals in the third quarter carried Bhopal Badshahs to a 3-1 win against hosts Karnataka Lions in the World Series Hockey league here Monday.

Striker Karan Baskaran figured prominently for Bhopal scoring twice in the 44th and 46th minutes and former India player Sameer Dad (48th) rounded off the scoring while Lions, who muffed several sitters, had their only moment of success in the 42nd when Dhanraj Pillai scored.

It was second win in three outings for Bhopal, coached by 1980 Olympian Vasudevan Baskaran, while Lions, handled by his one-time ward and former India captain Jude Felix, slid to their third consecutive defeat.

While Bhopal shrugged off their initial lethargy, the Lions flattered to deceive and after an enthusiastic start, faded away with their deep defence caving in under pressure.

The action in the opening two quarters was rather insipid with neither team making any impression or impact on the flow of the game. There was some sporadic scramble at either goalmouth, but not much by way of scoring opportunities.

The Lions came the closest to scoring when Amar Aiyamma, gifted a free ball by defender Ranjit Singh who fumbled with an interception, flicked wide of the post and later, Len Aiyappa struck the upright with a penalty corner drag-flick.

The Badshahs made a few circle penetrations, but the understanding among the forwards was conspicuously absent. Aussie midfielder Case Henwood fashioned a few good moves, but none was translated into goal.

On change of ends, the Lions struck when veteran Pillai put home a pass from Jarnail Singh who got to a centre from the right, the ball eluding a host of Bhopal sticks and legs. Bhopal protested citing an infringement, but on referral, the goal was upheld.

The lead was shortlived as Bhopal struck thrice in quick succession. Karan deflected home a Waseem Ahmed pass for the equalizer and then made it 2-1 with an indirect penalty corner conversion before Dad flicked to the net a pass from Karan who snatched the ball from a slow-moving defender Aiyappa.

In the last quarter, the Lions made some determined bids with former India star Arjun Halappa moving from wing-half to the frontline position where he excelled with some eye-catching runs, but without much support from his mates.

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