Drag-flicker Len Aiyappa scored twice to steer Bangalore Lions to a 2-1 victory over Maratha Warriors in a keenly-fought match of the Premier Hockey League here on Friday.
In the most fierce and interesting match of the tournament so far, which also went into the extra-time, Aiyappa scored through a penalty corner at the sixth minute helping his team take the match.
However, the Warriors won the hearts with their dazzling display, having ball possession for most of the time. But, the constant raids and brilliant moves failed to produce another goal which they duly deserved.
The Lions took the lead in the 14th minute with Aiyappa converting a penalty corner with his trademark power-packed shot, which stunned Warriors goalkeeper Adrian Dâ€™Souza.
Warriors equalised in the 26th minute through a brilliant goal by right half Gurbaj Singh, when Shivendra Singhâ€™s attempt hit the post and rebounded. At half-time the score was 1-1.
The second half of the regulation time was dominated by Maratha Warriors who invaded the opponent citadel time and again. But, to its credit, Lionsâ€™ defence was rock solid, blocking move after move.
Both the teams entertained the crowd with some dazzling stick work and brilliant runs in the most spectacular match of the tournament so far.