Top Level Hockey Display by SSSC-A and Punjab-A
HONG KONG—Kings Park Hockey stand was almost full on the afternoon of Saturday Oct 26 to watch Hong Kong Hockey Association Premier Division matches, but many were there predominantly to watch the clash between Singh Sabha Sports Club (SSSC-A) and Punjab-A.
After having a rocky end to last season, being banned for several games, SSSC-A have hit back this season and have shown that they can compete on equal terms, with the top teams in Hong Kong. After SSSC-A’s win over Khalsa-A the previous week there was much interest in this top of the table match against Punjab-A. Both teams are well known for introducing oversees stars to their squads and this year is no exception. Punjab-A have in their star line-up the ex-Canadian international Sukwinder Singh Gabbar, and ex Pakistan Captain Waseem Ahmad, both former-Olympians. SSSC-A have added to their strong line-up by introducing the current Pakistan captain Imran Mohammad, a defender and penalty corner specialist to their team.
Sunny Bali of Punjab tells Epoch Times they are about to add further to their squad with top level Pakistani players and a German U21 international.
The atmosphere was electric both on and off the field with fast accurate passing and great stick work by many players on either side. SSSC-A were the first to break the deadlock in the first quarter and it was not until 5-minutes to the interval that Punjab-A equalized. Punjab made it 2-1 in the 3rd minute of the second half and continued to press for further goals and a full stretch diving save by the SSSC goalie stopped Punjab adding to the total, 2-minutes later. But it was SSSC celebrating as they slotted home a field goal equalizer making the score 2-2.
Punjab moved ahead to 3-2 with 12 minutes left on the clock but SSSC levelled the score to 3-3 from a penalty corner, just 2-minutes later. The atmosphere was fully charged, both teams were trying for the win, with partisan supporters urging on the teams. Punjab pressed again right at the end of the match and thought they had justification for a penalty corner or penalty stroke, when their No. 10 attacked and on his second attempt fired at the goal but after discussion, the umpires decided no penalty and the game ended on a 3-3 draw.
In the other matches HKFC-A missed an opportunity to stay with the leaders when they lost to an improving KNS-A side 2-3. Shaheen-A beat Rhino-A 10-0, KCC-A had a 3-0 walkover win against Pak-A and Valley-A defeated KCC-A 3-0.