PKL 2019: Kandola steers Haryana to victory over UP, Gujarat woes at home worsen

A resurgent Haryana Steelers staged an epic comeback from early dents caused by UP Yoddha to take a three-point victory. Gujarat suffered yet another home leg defeat after Bengal handed a two-point defeat to the host.

Haryana Steelers' Vikash Kandola (white) produced some spectacular raids in the final stages of the match.   -  Special Arrangement

Vikash Kandola used his left foot to great effect thrice in the last three minutes to steer Haryana Steelers to a thrilling 36-33 win against UP Yoddha in the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL 2019) at the Arena by TransStadia here on Wednesday.

The Steelers led 16-12 at half time, but Monu Goyat and company pounced on opportunities in the early part of the second half to put the UP side up 21-18 and then increased it to 27-24, before falling victim to Kandola’s spectacular raids in the final stages of the match.

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The action-packed tussle between the two sides turned into a two-man showdown between Kandola and Yoddha's raider Shrikant Jadhav. However, as the match progressed and the scores were even at 27 each, Steelers' chief raider Kandola bagged four more points to help his side clinch its third consecutive victory.

Jadhav too came into his own, single-handedly winning points, but it was his ejection from the mat that resulted in Haryana effecting an all-out in the 40th minute, that earned the side three crucial points.

Kandola’s splendid effort reduced the UP side to three men on the court against seven as the teams took positions after a time out. It was a complete mismatch that eventually contributed to the Steelers’ hard earned win in seven matches. With its fourth win, the Steelers climbed to the third position on the points table.

Midway through the second half, the Steelers turned the tide to its favour and, courtesy Sunil coming to the fore with sixth tackle points, the Haryana side managed to nose ahead.

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Gujarat Fortunegiants' home leg woes continued worsen after Bengal Warriors handed the hosts a 26-28 defeat.

The match started with a flurry of points as Gujarat's star raider Sachin Tanwar racked up early points. The match was brought to life soon after when Maninder spearheaded Bengal's offense by bagging five points in the first 20. 

Aided by Gujarat's defensive howlers, Mohammaed Esmaeil Nabibakhsh also bagged a few raid points as Bengal went into the break with a five-point lead.

In the second half, Bengal's all-round performance kept the pressure on Gujarat which heavily banked on super-tackles. Sunil, Sumit and Parvesh Bhainswal executed multiple chain tackles and the tactic almost saw the home team over the line.

Sunil raced to a High-5 and after drawing level with Bengal at 26-26, the onus was on the defense to contain K. Prapanjan, who had only been tackled once on the night. The raider, who was in red hot form in the second half, managed to scramble back to safety in the final raid of the match as his side took victory 28-26. Prapanjan finished as the joint-leading raider of the match with eight points.

Scores:

Haryana Steelers bt UP Yoddha 36-33 (Kandola- 12 pts, Jadhav 9 pts)

Bengal Warriors defeated Gujarat Fortunegiants 28-26 ( K. Prapanjan and Sonu- 8 pts)