U Mumba fell short in the dying minutes of the game as Puneri Paltan staged an inspiring comeback to win 26-24 at Mumbai.
Puneri Paltan managed to stage an amazing comeback to snatch their VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 5 match away from home team U Mumba at the Dome@NSCI SVP Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday and win 26-24 in the closing stages. Pune’s captain Deepak Hooda led from the front to end the match as their highest scorer with 8 points, negating Kashiling Adake’s 7 points.
The captains, Anup Kumar and Deepak Hooda, went in for the first raids of the evening. Hooda was successful in his very first attempt to put the first point on the scoreboard. After that, both the teams got into defensive mode, trying not to take any risks and showing intent only in do-or-die raids.
In the second part of the half, Pune’s ace defender Dharmaraj Cheralathan was introduced into the mix. That didn’t make much of a difference though as in the 14th minute, Mumbai handed Pune an All-Out with the scoreline reading 11-4 in favour of the home team.
Pune tried to turn their fortunes around by introducing their do-or-die specialist, Rajesh Mondal who made his mark as soon as he stepped in. Nevertheless, Mumbai’s all-round show ensured the lead remained steady even as the points trickled in at either end. Pune managed to pick up their first tackle point of the evening at the stroke of halftime as the teams entered the breather with U Mumba leading 15-9.
The second half started slow as well with U Mumba seeming to have a solid strategy in their head of attacking only during do-or-die raids. The very first points of the half were also won through do-or-die raids.
Sandeep Narwal managed to get his first points of the match in the 25th minute through a two-point raid to narrow the gap but Adake’s two-point raid minutes later put U Mumba back in control. Pune, however, kept their cool to soon hand Mumbai an All-Out in the 34th minute and lessen the gap to a single point at 20-19.
The match went down to the wire in the last five minutes with both the teams at their defensive best. By the 37th minute, the score was tied at 23 each, with Pune making a commendable comeback into the match. Mumbai tried to strengthen the attack by bringing on Nitin Madane but Pune managed to hold their nerve to earn a last-gasp victory, their second against U Mumba this season.
Check out our snapshots from this match here.