Two last-minute goals from Ranchi Rays skipper Ashley Jackson helped them defeat the Punjab Warriors 3-2. After being 2-1 down till the last minute, Ranchi successfully snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. The win also saw the Ranchi Rays occupy the no. 1 spot on the league table for the first time.
Punjab Warriors surge ahead with two-goal cushion
The Punjab side saw almost half of its A-team players benched. Skipper Jamie Dwyer, Mark Knowels, Lucas Rey and Dharamvir Singh were among the players who were benched.
Punjab warriors head coach Barry Dancer used his reserves to great effect. His tactics worked wonders as Punjab scored two goals in the first quarter and went into the break with a 2 goal lead.
Ranchi Rays Hit, Punjab Warriors Retreat
As the second quarter started, the Punjab Warriors suddenly lost touch. Ranchi Rays saw the opportunity and pressed into attack.
The Rays pulled a goal back to make it 2-1 through Ashley Jackson in the 21st minute.
Ranchi Rays kept on pushing but the Punjab Warriors were alerted. The warriors successfully defended the subsequent waves of attack from Ranchi Rays.
The Punjab defense buckled under pressure at the very last moment and gave away two penalty corners to the Ranchi Rays. Ashley Jackson converted both to complete his hat-trick and to win the match 3-2 for the Ranchi Rays.
The situation on the points table changes with Ranchi Rays climbing to the top. The Rays have played all of their group stage matches and picked up six wins. The Punjab Warriors now have five wins from nine matches and might be able to retake the top position on winning their next game.
Regardless of the positioning, the two teams have already qualified for the semi-finals.
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