Riding on Simon Child’s double strike and Gurbaj Singh’s man-of-the-match performance, Delhi Waveriders defeated Dabang Mumbai by 3-1 in a must win game in order to move closer to the semi-final spot in the ongoing Hero Hockey India League 2015.
It was Delhi Waveriders who scored the maiden goal in the first quarter and led the game 1-0 till the end of the third quarter. Goals started coming in the fourth quarter where Dabang Mumbai made their sole strike and Delhi Waveriders added two more to the tally, ending the game with a 3-1 win. The win takes Delhi Waveriders to the third position in the points table while Dabang Mumbai are positioned at the bottom.
The first breakthrough came for Delhi Waveriders in the fourth minute when Rupinder Pal Singh made a clean pass to Simon Child in the D. The kiwi forward found target on a tomahawk shot past the Dabang Goalkeeper Adrian D’Souza to earn lead for his team. While the scorecard was in favour of Delhi Waveriders, Dabang Mumbai had good possession of the ball in the entire session and kept on looking for chances to convert. It was a mix of good defence work by the team and saves by Rassie Pieterse which ensured that Delhi Waveriders led the first quarter by 1-0.
In the second quarter, Dabang Mumbai, keen to attack and give the home crowd a reason to cheer, kept the pressure on Delhi Waveriders but were unable to break the shackles and score the much required goal. The strong defence of Dabang Mumbai also did not allow the opponents to penetrate the D easily leaving Delhi Waveriders frustrated. The first penalty corner of the match came in the final minute of the second quarter for Dabang Mumbai. Harmanpreet Singh had the job cut out and the young drag flicker hit strongly but hit the cross bar leaving the quarter goalless and the visitors still leading the game 1-0 at half time.
Trailing by a goal to nil, Dabang Mumbai’s Tom Boon, had a clear chance to score within five minutes into the quarter, but hit the ball off target above the goal post losing the chance to equalize. The very next minute Tom Boon again had a chance but could not finish Nick Catlin’s good pass from the right flank in front of the goal post. On the other hand continuing their attack, Delhi Waveriders had a chance to score but was brilliantly saved by Adrian D’Souza. Three minutes left in the third quarter, Chinglensana Singh missed a clear opportunity to score and had he been on target, the Delhi Waveriders goalie had no chance to stop the goal. With fierce attacks from both sides, the third quarter yet again did not yield any goal and the scorecard was left untouched with Delhi Waveriders leading 1-0.
The last quarter saw Simon Child score his second goal of the match in the 47th minute giving the Dabang Mumbai goalie no chance to stop the goal, taking the lead to 2-0 for the visitors. Dabang Mumbai got their second penalty corner in the 51st minute and this time Harmanpreet Singh did no mistake in converting and opening the account for Dabang Mumbai. This was Harmanpreet’s second goal in the League. In the same quarter the home team got another penalty corner and this time the Delhi goalie was more alert and made the save. Just a minute left in the game Delhi Waveriders struck again when good stick work and clean passes helped Jason Wilson to score the third goal for the team taking the score to 3-1. This helped the visitors to mark a convincing win over Dabang Mumbai, 3-1.
Speaking during the presentation ceremony Sardar Singh, Captain, Delhi Waveriders said “We as a unit are bettering ourselves each day. We played better than we played them in our last clash in Delhi. We will identify our loopholes and work on them for the next match and come back better. Our training session is always focused on our mistakes and ensuring we do not repeat them on the field”.
Speaking on the second consecutive win Cedric D’souza, Head Coach, Delhi Waveriders said, “Today was a tough clash and a close match. The game ended 3-1, but could have ended 2-2 clearly showcasing that each game being played is different and exciting. This year during the auctions I had told, the third edition will be tough and it is proving to be one.”
Valentin Altenburg, Head Coach, Dabang Mumbai said “I think we gave the first goal easily. We went all out for the equalizer goal but unfortunately could not win. We played good hockey and gave them a tough time and majorly dominated the game. We had many chances to score but I think we lacked the quality. If we are unable to perform in the circle then we lose and this is what happened with us today. We have to work together in the circle in the training sessions. With five games left in the first phase we will go all out and aim to win all.”
Hero Goal of the Match – Simon Child, Delhi Waveriders
Man of the Match – Gurbaj Singh, Delhi Waveriders
Next Match: February 6, 2015, 19.00hrs IST – Ranchi Rays vs Kalinga Lancers (Ranchi) The match will be telecast LIVE on Star Sports