Monu Goyat's superb all-round performance gave Telugu Titans their first victory of vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 9 after a 30-21 win against Patna Pirates in the second game of the night at the Shree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium in Bengaluru on Tuesday. The win lifted coach Manjeet Chhillar's side off the foot of the table and consigned the Pirates, last year's runners up, to a second straight loss.
The pregame talk was centered around the watertight defences of both teams, and with Mohammadreza Chiyaneh on the Patna Pirates team sheet for the first time this season, the hype was all the more real. After all, he was the Defender of the Season last time around.
And yet, for all the talk, the opening quarter of the match was dominated by the attacking verve shown by both sides as Monu Goyat and Sachin traded blows throughout to keep the scoreboard ticking. The two teams traded 13 points before the Pirates registered their first tackle points of the game.
From thereon though, the Titans and Goyat took over. The experienced raider kept nibbling away at the Pirates defence, snapping bonus points at will. A close game was suddenly blown open by a Super Tackle by the Titans as they took a 10-9 lead. Their narrow lead was consolidated further in Goyat's very next raid - a two-point raid - as the Titans registered the first and only All-Out of the match. Telugu Titans went into halftime leading 21-13.
Chhillar's message to his team in the second half was focused on ensuring they kept their momentum going, and the players responded perfectly, never allowing the Pirates a toe back into the encounter.
Chiyaneh's appearance, while not entirely unsuccessful - as he registered 2 tackle points from 4 tackles - was less impactful than his team would have hoped for. At the other end, a lack of bite from the Pirates’ raiders, did not help their cause either.
With a quarter of the game to go, the Titans had notched up a comfortable eight-point lead, and from there on, for the Pirates, it became a matter of trying to get at least a point from the encounter by reducing the deficit. Despite their toil, Chhillar's boys, stung perhaps by their two earlier losses, were keen to maintain their lead and even extend the gap.
In the end, Goyat, the definite player of the match, completed his own 10 points for the game, albeit registering the double digits with a tackle point, rather than a raid point.
It summed up the evening for the Pirates, who will now look ahead, and try to slowly start climbing the points table. The Titans, meanwhile, have their first win of the season on the board.
Best Raider - Sachin (6 Raid Points)
Best Defender - Sunil (4 Tackle Points)
Best Raider - Monu Goyat (9 Raid Points)
Best Defender - Surjeet Singh (4 Tackle Points)
Where to watch vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 9 LIVE?
Catch all the LIVE action from vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 9 on the Star Sports Network and LIVE streaming on Disney+Hotstar.