A collective performance helped Puneri Paltan thrash Haryana Steelers 45-27 in a Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 8 match and keep their playoff hopes alive, here on Friday. The win will help Pune to improve their chances of making it to the playoffs.
Mohit Goyat picked up a Super 10 (12 points including 2 tackle points) and defender Sombir clinched a High 5 (7 tackle points) as Pune controlled the proceeding from the first whistle to the last. Haryana had a poor day in both defence and attack with their usually reliable cover defence combination of Jaideep and Mohit also struggling throughout the match.
The first belonged completely to the team from Pune. Coach Anup Kumar’s youngsters approached the mat with no fear, and they dominated the Steelers in defence and attack. Mohit Goyat was the pick of the raiders, picking up points with ease and leaving Haryana’s defence disoriented.
Paltan got their first all-out in the 6th minute to open an eight-point lead. The Steelers staged a fightback with Vikash Kandola but Sombir produced a stunning Super Tackle to once again shift the momentum to Pune’s side.
Pune’s strategy was clear — tackle Vikash and then control the mat when the Haryana captain was in the dugout. Sombir pulled off three perfect tackles in the closing minutes of the first half as Pune clinched another all-out. Haryana’s much-famed defence had just one successful tackle in the entire half. The first half ended with the scores 26-7.
Haryana brought in Surender Nada and Rohit Gulia after the interval to add more steel to their team. But the changes made little difference as Pune kept attacking relentlessly.
Right corner defender Sombir picked up a High 5 as Pune clinched yet another all-out in the 5th minute after the restart. The all-out widened Paltan’s lead to 25 points. Nitin Tomar, playing as a defender, initiated a few outstanding tackles as Pune’s defenders refused to let Haryana raiders settle. Mohit Goyat also picked his Super 10 while Pune also gave Rahul Chaudhari a chance to make a comeback after a long injury layoff.
Haryana secured an all-out with two minutes remaining but that made very little difference to the final outcome as Pune clinched an important win in their race for a playoff berth.