Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], Mar. 20 (ANI): In a thrilling exhibition match played to a full house at the Kalinga Stadium here on Sunday, the crowd witnessed high voltage face-off between the Rest of India (ROI) led by PR Sreejesh and Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) captained by VR Raghunath.
Though the result of the match hosted by PSPB in association with Hockey India went in favour of Rest of India who won 4-1, the PSPB showcased class as they held their opponents to a stalemate in the first half.
Their defence was tight and they rarely allowed the Rest of India forwards to make easy forays into the striking circle.
However, Rest of India's breakthrough came in the 34th minute after coach Roelant Oltmans made key changes in the halftime break that was perfectly executed by his team. It was Santa Singh who scored a stunning field goal to take a much-needed 1-0 lead.
Talwinder Singh soon doubled the lead with a 41th minute field goal while Ajit Kumar Pandey who was part of the Junior World Cup winning team scored in the 53th minute to take the score to a formidable 3-0.
Though PSPB made a late comeback with a successful penalty corner converted by Harmanpreet Singh, who is now part of the senior men's core probables for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, in the 56th minute brought some respite to the PSPB which boasts of an fine line-up features SV Sunil, SK Uthappa, Harjeet Singh, Mandeep Singh, Birendra Lakra, Kothajit Singh, Devinder Walmiki among the others.
Rest of India scored almost immediately and showed their dominance with a 57th minute goal by forward Talwinder Singh to win the match. (ANI)