Punjab's pointless move


The Jaypee Punjab Warriors think-tank seems to be acquiring a knack of making curious decisions — sometimes sly, sometimes bordering on the stupid — in the dying minutes. Against Mumbai Magicians on January 20, as they led 3-2 in the last five minutes, Punjab had — unwittingly one assumes — 12 players on the pitch. It led to a one-match ban on their manager Jagbir Singh.

Against the Delhi Waveriders, as they trailed 2-0 in the last four minutes, Punjab took their goalkeeper off and bolstered their attack with an extra man — a perfectly legal move, but a self-defeating one.

For even though they were a couple of goals down, Punjab were still in to take something home from the match as the tournament rules award one point to the losing team, provided the margin is two goals or less.

In sport as in warfare, a move could be a stroke of genius or a tactical blunder, depending upon its outcome, which again depends on many other external factors: wherewithal to execute a given strategy, how smart/stupid the opposition is, and, of course, luck.

And so Punjab's Jaap Stockmann, who has smothered close to five shots on the target, sat in the dugout and coach Barry Dancer sent in Christopher Ciriello to do, perhaps, what his 10 other players hadn't, despite a few passages of dominance: score a goal. Actually, at least two.

As Punjab pressed ahead, the Delhi forwards' eyes must have lit up at the sight of an unguarded goal. A counterattack was all they needed. And sure enough it came. As Delhi thwarted a feeble attempt, and Punjab scampered back, the home team's visionary skipper Sardar Singh almost intuitively found Simon Child lurking on the edge of opposition circle with a long pass.

... contd.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views, opinions and comments posted are your, and are not endorsed by this website. You shall be solely responsible for the comment posted here. The website reserves the right to delete, reject, or otherwise remove any views, opinions and comments posted or part thereof. You shall ensure that the comment is not inflammatory, abusive, derogatory, defamatory &/or obscene, or contain pornographic matter and/or does not constitute hate mail, or violate privacy of any person (s) or breach confidentiality or otherwise is illegal, immoral or contrary to public policy. Nor should it contain anything infringing copyright &/or intellectual property rights of any person(s).
comments powered by Disqus