Kalinga Lancers were defeated 7-3 by Jaypee Punjab Warriors in debutant Kalinga’s first ever Hero Hockey India League as the Warriors recorded their second consecutive victory in this edition to reach to the top of the points table.
Kalinga Lancers, jointly owned by Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) and Mahanadi Coalfield Limited (MCL) and coached by Indian men’s team chief coach Terry Walsh, witnessed a nightmarish debut in the HIL, which a franchise-based league, at the newly-laid Astroturf of the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar today.
This is the first time any team has attained a score of 7-3 in the Hero Hockey India League. In the inaugural season highest score was 6-4, where Delhi Waveriders have beaten Dabur Mumbai Magicians.
With this comprehensive victory Jaypee Punjab Warriors reached the top of the standings with 11 points from three games. Kalinga Lancers, however, returned empty-handed as they lost the match by a margin of more than two goals.
The newcomers in HHIL were on the back foot from the start as the Warriors rattled the Kalinga Lancers defense with constant raids. Kalinga Lancers looked rusty and struggled to control the rampaging visitors in the one-sided encounter.
It did not take long for Jaypee Punjab Warriors to go ahead through Dharamvir Singh (6th minute) who scored from a weak rebound off Kalinga Lancers goalie Tristan Clemons.
Warriors upped their ante in the second quarter and pumped in four more goals in quick succession to increase their lead.
First Lucas Rey (23rd) scored from a rebound after the initial try was saved by Kalinga Lancers goalkeeper Clemons from Jaypee Wizards first penalty corner. Star drag-flicker Sandeep Singh (29th minute) then converted another penalty corner to right of an out-stretched Tristan and then young Affan Yousuf (31st) and Australian Simon Orchard (33rd) scored through field efforts to take a commanding 5-0 lead at halftime.
Kalinga Lancers managed to pull one back three minutes into the third quarter when Gonzalo Peillat (38th) made use of their first penalty corner.
But minutes later, Sandeep (40th) restored Wizards lead scoring his second goal of the day from another set piece.
Kalinga can take heart from the fact that they were bang on target with their penalty corner conversions as Peillat (43rd) scored from their second set piece to register his name in the scoresheet for the second time in the match.
Jaypee Punjab Warriors scored another from a penalty corner, this time through captain Jamie Dwyer’s (51st) rebound before Mandeep Antil (60th) perfectly deflected in Amir Khan’s pass to reduce the margin for Kalinga Lancers.
Hero Goal of the Match award was bagged by Jamie Dwyer while Yes Bank Garv award was given to Sandeep Singh. Dharamvir Singh was declared the Man of the Match.
Speaking on the loss, Terry Walsh, Coach of Kalinga Lancers said, “This was our first match and it took us some time to get a grip. We were a little defensive initially and paid the price for it. We made chances but team could not convert them in goals in the first half. By the time we came in second half, we were quite into the game. I am sure we will improve as we progress in the Tournament.”
Speaking to media, Kalinga Lancers captain Prabodh Tirkey said, “We made lot of mistakes and were very defensive in our approach. We need to assess our shortcomings and improve upon them. This was only the first match but going forward I am sure the crowd will see more coordinated game.”
Jagbir Singh, Team Manager, Jaypee Punjab Warriors said, “I am delighted at the hat trick. We had good team combination today. We were able to build pressure right from the beginning and never game time to Kalinga Lancers to settle. They have good players too but we over powered them right from the beginning.”
Addressing the media, Warriors’ Affan Yousuf said, “It was a team effort and each player pitched in to get the win. We will now concentrate on the next match against Delhi Waveriders. The team is brilliant with players like Sardar Singh spearheading. We are however not worried as our plans are in place.”
Jaypee Punjab Warriors would be playing the Sardar Singh-led Delhi Waveriders in their next match at the capital’s Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium on Friday (Full Schedule Here).