Haryana Steelers beat U.P. Yoddha 36-35 thanks to a last-second bonus

The Haryana Steelers faced the U.P. Yoddha in the 73rd match of the Pro Kabaddi League Season 8, with the Steelers extending their winning run to three games with a last-minute 35-36 victory over their opponents thanks to Vinay’s bonus point. 

Haryana built on their first-half momentum by putting the game’s first all out within the opening two minutes of the second half, extending their advantage to four points. The Steelers appeared to be strong favorites to win the game as they continued to pile up points on their opponents, holding an eight-point lead with only twelve minutes remaining. 

Haryana Steelers beat U.P. Yoddha

The Steelers will be overjoyed with their victory over UP Yoddha, as it earned them five points on the points table and moved them up to fifth place in the league standings. The Yoddhas, on the other hand, will be disappointed after losing in the last seconds of the game and will be looking to rebound in their following matches. 

Pardeep Narwal began the high-profile game with a point for his team, as the raider started the game with a touchpoint on Surinder Nada in the left corner. The Steelers did not back down from the challenge, as Vinay responded with a spectacular escape, dodging UP’s captain Nitesh Kumar to square the score. 

In the first half, both teams adopted a cautious approach to the game, settling for scoring during their do-or-die attacks. Both teams were tied at nine points apiece at the completion of the first 10 minutes. In the opening seven minutes of the game, the UP-based team had the opportunity to inflict the first all-out of the game on their opponents, but two back-to-back great tackles by the Steelers guaranteed that their opponents did not steal the game away from them. 

UP’s Nitesh was repeatedly targeted by Vinay in the first half; the defence has been a shell of his former self thus far in the tournament, and the raiders took advantage of the susceptible defender early on. The Steelers held a dismal one-point lead over their opponents at halftime, with a chance to inflict the game’s first all-out coming into the second half. 

The Uttar Pradesh-based team fought back with an incredible super raid in the 40th minute from replacement Mohammad Taghi, who scored a bonus plus three touchpoints in a single raid, sparking a UP Yoddha comeback. UP capitalised on the momentum in the final five minutes of the game, tying the score with an all-out victory against their opponents. 

The Steelers will now try to continue their winning streak when they play the Gujarat Giants in their 14th match of the ongoing league season on Tuesday.

The UP Yoddha, on the other hand, will aim to bounce back from their setback and focus on their next opponent, the inaugural champions Jaipur Pink Panthers, on Thursday in their 14th appearance of the season. 

As the final whistle approached, both teams sought to keep things safe in the final five minutes, with none of the players daring to jeopardise the draw’s security. Vinay, on the other hand, authored the last twist in the storey, as the raider snatched as a last-minute bonus with two seconds left on the clock and made sure to run the clock out to earn his team their third straight win.