Punjab Warriors came back from behind to hold Kalinga Lancers to a 4-4 draw and seal their place in the semifinal of the fourth Hockey India league, here today.
The match also marked the first draw of the fourth edition of HIL.
Punjab Warriors, who now have 29 points in their kitty, became the second team after defending champions Ranchi Rays to book a semifinal berth.
Kalinga Lancers raced to a 4-0 lead through two field goals from Malak Singh (14th minute) and Quirjin Caspers (29th) before Punjab Warriors made a strong comeback with field strikes from Matt Gohdes (35th) and Jake Whetton (59th).
According to new scoring rules introduced in HIL, one field goal is counted as two.
The match began with the visitors pressing hard to score. While Punjab Warriors put up a decent show in the first few minutes, the Lancers set up a strong attacking front to break through the hosts’ defensive wall.
The Lancers drew first blood in the 14th minute through a field goal from Malak taking an early lead of 2-0.
The Lancers continued their attacking game in the second quarter and their efforts yielded results when Caspers scored a second field goal in the 29th minute to give the visitors a 4-0 lead at the half-way mark.
The Punjab Warriors looked more organised in the third quarter and made synchronised moves with the intent to score, but the Lancers defence stood tall.
The lancers looked threatening on counter attacks but failed to score due to some scintillating saves from Punjab Warriors goalkeeper Triston Clemans.
Punjab Warriors, who seemed to be playing with a different strategy in the second half, stuck to the basics and kept on attacking at regular intervals.
The hosts finally found success through a field goal from Ghodes in the 35th minute to reduce the scoreline to 2-4.
The rest of the third quarter saw many attacking moves from both the teams but none of them could materialise the chanes into goals.
Punjab Warriors drew parity just a minute from the hooter through a spectacular field goal from Whetton to register the first draw of the ongoing HIL.