Gujarat Fortunegiants continued their fine form in VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 5 and made it four wins from four matches in their home leg with a 27-24 victory over Bengaluru Bulls at The Arena in Ahmedabad on Tuesday.The Bulls looked in the driving seat for most of the game and even had a first-half lead but a spirited comeback from Gujarat undid all the good work.
Fortunegiants coach Manpreet Singh expressed his delight after the match, labelling his side’s victory as a ‘special win’. “This was a special win because Gujarat Fortunegiants were behind on the scoreline from the start. Bengaluru Bulls had a lead of nine points. After that the way team showcased its experience, it helped to clinch the match. We made some mistakes at the start, because of which we were trailing,” Manpreet told reporters at the post-match press conference.
He continued: “But there are some points in kabaddi where you can recover quickly. And sometimes it takes the whole match. But then you need planning, how you need to progress, how to contain the opposition's lead. We did well in the end but before that we inflicted an All-Out, and before that we had two super tackles. That changed the momentum in our favour. And then we had the defence combination of Fazel Atrachali, Sunil Kumar and Parvesh Bhainswal in the middle... Today the performance was grand.”
Bulls captain Rohit Kumar, meanwhile, put his side’s loss down to defensive lapses and strategic play from Gujarat. “There were mistakes in defence. Raiders did their bit. The third raid, they know it’s suicide. There aren't a lot of chances to get a point because everyone knows the raider has to give it his all. So, they wait for the raider to try, and then catch him. So, that's the mistake we made... That was the turning point. That's how the match slipped from our hands,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Puneri Paltan picked up a comfortable 34-17 win against Bengal Warriors. Pune dominated from the outset but skipper Deepak Hooda refused to call it an easy game. “There are no easy games in VIVO Pro Kabaddi. Anyone can beat any team on a given day and every team can offer a tough fight,” said Hooda.
He added: “Everyone played well, that’s why it was a one-sided match. Whoever had the responsibilities, they fulfilled it. Mainly, our defence was very strong. They had good raiders like Jang Kun Lee and Maninder Singh but we caught them both very well. We didn’t give them many points.”
Bengal captain Surjeet Singh, on the other hand, acknowledged that Pune’s tactics to keep Lee and Maninder quiet worked but he refused to put the entire blame on his star raiders.