Under the crossbar, goalies raise the bar
- Ban on Salman Rushdie's book by Rajiv Gandhi govt was wrong: Chidambaram
- Woman IPS officer transferred after spat with Haryana health minister
- Pakistan ready for talks with India without preconditions, says Nawaz Sharif: Report
- Cabinet expansion in Maharashtra sets pitch for lobbying in BJP
- Bhushans should join BJP, says AAP after criticism of Janlokpal
Hero one moment, villain the next. It's tough being a goalkeeper. Their saves do get applauded but usually its their misses that get highlighted. With the mask hiding their expressions, they remain the all-important faceless background boys of teams.
However, on a rare evening , when the Mumbai Magicians forward-line finally looked in sync and Sandeep Singh added two more goals to his tally to become the Hockey India League's (HIL) top scorer, the home team's goal keeper PR Sreejesh's efforts stood out. The 24-year-old custodian was the cornerstone of Mumbai's win 4-0 win over UP Wizards at the Mahindra Stadium on Wednesday.
The Magicians needed a solid defensive performance against the Wizards in order to notch up their first win of the HIL. Going into their eighth match, they had conceded 25 goals at an average of four per match, an uncharacteristic statistic for a team coached by Ric Charlesworth.
Sreejesh pulled off half a dozen saves to ensure a clean-sheet for Mumbai, though he was assisted by some poor Wizards finishing. The agile goalkeeper's brilliant diving effort from a penalty corner in the second quarter to deny Luke Doerner brought the crowd on its feet. It wasn't just the saves, Sreejesh also organised the defence well, shouting orders from under the helmet to keep the players on toes. "He made the difference today. It was important for us not to concede goals today and he was very good. He pulled off some really good saves which inspired the team," Charlesworth said after the match.
Semifinal race alive
Mumbai's win has reignited their hopes of qualifying for the semifinals. They are only five points behind fourth-placed Wizards and seven behind Punjab Warriors, whom they face today. Another outright win would further boost their chances. Besides a brace by Sandeep, Jonny Jasrotia (11th minute) and Jason Wilson (45) were the other goal scorers for the Magicians.
- True economic reform is one that makes a clean break from the past
- When Aamir chooses to talk about fears of Hindu intolerance, he does his faith a disservice
- Cricket is the only Indian religion in whose name people don’t kill each other
- There is a complaint about intolerance from those who frankly don’t like the change in govt
- Inside track: Changing tactics
- Good governance is in actions, not in 'abolishing' religious holidays of minorities