U.P. Yoddha beat Telugu Titans 25-23 at the Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium in Lucknow on Thursday to end their home leg with a win. The league’s most expensive player Nitin Tomar and Raid Machine Rahul Chaudhari top-scored for Lucknow and Hyderabad respectively with six points each.
Both sides got the scoreboard ticking after successful tackles during do-or-die raids. The first touch point of the match came in the fourth minute through a usual suspect in Telugu’s Chaudhari. Lucknow’s first touch points went to Surender Singh, who managed a two-point raid.
A relatively low-scoring affair, neither side managed to assert any sort of control in the first half with the score level at 9-9 in the 16th minute. The last four minutes of the half yielded one point for the home side and three for the Titans, making it 12-10 in favour of Hyderabad at the break.
Lucknow began the second period by drawing level with a super tackle by Jeeva Kumar on Chaudhari. A two-point raid by Mahesh Goud soon after, followed by a successful tackle by the Yoddha on Nilesh Salunke gave them the lead much to the delight of the home faithful.
The hosts went into the last 10 minutes of the half with a three-point lead that was reduced to two thanks to a successful do-or-die raid by Chaudhari. As the game approached its climax both teams began to bank on do-or-die raids for points with the defences coming up trumps more often than not.
A touch point by Chaudhari in the 35th minute, however, made it a one-point game as the home crowd prepared themselves for another pulsating finish. A combined dash by Chaudhari and Rohit Rana in the next raid of the contest then made it 20-20.
Hyderabad’s Mohsen Maghsoudlou then pulled off a stunning two-point do-or-die raid with a little over two minutes remaining in the game to help his side regain the lead. Tomar though was in a defiant mood and picked up a touch point to make it 22-21 and set up a blockbuster finish.
Tomar was at it again in the last minute of the match as he sent young Vishal Bhardwaj to the bench. The Yoddha followed it up with a successful tackle on Chaudhari in a do-or-die raid. Tomar then killed off the game with a two-point raid in his side’s next raid to end their home leg on a positive note.
Check out our snapshots from this match here.