Rajasthan Patriots became the third team to qualify for the semi-finals of the Premier Handball League after securing a victory over the Delhi Panzers on Monday.
The Delhi Panzers started the game on the front foot as Jasmeet Singh was in lethal form. His goals in the opening minutes of the game saw his team take the lead early on in the game.
Nevertheless, Arjun Lakra came to life soon after as he single-handedly dragged his team back into the game with some acrobatic finishing. By the 15th minute mark, the scores were level at 6 all as Jasmeet and Arjun were shining for their respective teams in the opening minutes.
Rajasthan Patriots slowly took control of the game from thereon. Sumit and Mohit Ghanghas started supporting Arjun going forward. In defence, Atul Kumar was doing his bit as he made some excellent saves and was marshaling his defence superbly as they were giving very little time and space to the Delhi players in possession.
This allowed the Patriots to extend their lead as by halftime the scores read 16-13 in favour of the Patriots.
The Panzers looked for a swift start to the second half as they were looking to cut short the deficit. Bhupender Ghanghas who was kept relatively quiet in the first period found his finishing touch in the second half.
Halfway through the second half the scores read 25-22 in favour of the Rajasthan Patriots. Both teams were exchanging blows constantly going into the last 10 minutes of the game and Delhi were struggling to bridge the gap.
Rajasthan looked in complete control of the game and were managing to stay ahead of the Panzers. In the hopes to put the game to bed Dmitry Kireev, Hardev Singh, and Happy Singh of the Patriots helped their team extend their lead.
Dmitry Kireev was awarded the most valuable player of the match for his dominant display in attack.
In the other game, Maharashtra Ironmen held on to secure victory over the Golden Eagles Uttar Pradesh in a thrilling game that ended 27-28 in favour of the Ironmen.
The Golden Eagles started the game swiftly as Harjinder Singh and Sukhveer Singh Brar got into their attacking groove quickly.
Omid Reza of Uttar Pradesh also made some amazing saves in the initial stages of the match as his team took a slender lead. The Ironmen made sure that the Golden Eagles' lead did not last for too long as Chiseliov, Manjeet and Sumit Ghanghas scored in quick succession to bring their team back into the game.
The Golden Eagles Uttar Pradesh came out for the second half determined to give Maharashtra a run for their money.
Maharashtra although went about the second half much like the first half as Chiseliov, Manjeet, Sumit Kumar, Mohit Punia and Sumit Ghanghas were able to find the back of the net consistently which saw the Ironmen extend their lead and take control of the game.
However, goals from Jyotiram Bhushan Shinde and Mahesh Ugile saw the Golden Eagles mount a late comeback but Maharashtra Ironmen won the game 28-27.