Last edition’s finalists, Jaypee Punjab Warriors scored 7 past the defending Champions Delhi Waveriders to be the first team to reach Semi Finals of 3rd Hero Hockey India League 2015 in style. The match saw second hattrick of the season as Indian drag flick specialist Sandeep Singh scored 3 goals for his team.
Jaypee Punjab Warriors stuck to the plan chalked out by Head Coach Barry Dancer, to start the game with speed rather than coming into form slowly and in the process allowing the opponents to score the initial goals. Following the strategy, Jaypee Punjab Warriors struck just ten minutes into the game and thereon there was no looking back as they rained goals on the defending Champions leaving them stunned and frustrated.
In the first quarter of the match, table-toppers Jaypee Punjab Warriors started the match with their skilful domination and acute ball possession while keeping the visitors busy with their continuous attacks. In the tenth minute, Jaypee Punjab Warriors managed to earn a crucial penalty corner where the teams’ deadly duo – Jamie Dwyer and Sandeep Singh – took their favourite positions. Among the world’s best drag-flickers, Australia’s Jamie injected the ball into the pack and Sandeep Singh did not waste a moment to hit the ball hard into the box, beating Delhi Waveriders’ defenders and goal-keeper Rassie Pieterse. The 1-0 lead boosted the morale of the team and they fiercely attacked the opponents’ to score more goals.
Jaypee Punjab Warriors efforts bore more fruit in the 14th minute when midfielder Gurmail Singh attacked from the base line and chipped the ball towards the forward player SV Sunil, who was standing in front of the goal-box among three Waveriders players. Sunil received the ball in the air and he out-foxed the goal-keeper and sent the ball into the net. Sunil’s stimulating third goal of the HHIL 2015 lifted Jaypee Punjab Warriors to the 2-0 lead over Delhi Waveriders and maintained their strong domination in the match.
In the second quarter, Delhi Waveriders came with a better game-plan to fight back in the match but they failed to match the aggressive moves of Jaypee Punjab Warriors. However, the Delhi-team kept-on attacking the opponents and was looking for opportunities to score goals. On the other side, Jaypee Punjab Warriors thwarted the Waveriders’ attacks and counter-attacked to keep the visitors busy through-out the quarter. Delhi Waveriders managed to earn a penalty corner, which was foiled by JPW’s strong defence, followed by a penalty stroke in the 27th minute. Delhi Waveriders got the best chance to open their account but Andrew Hayward was on the side of the goal and lost the opportunity to minimise the margin. At half time Jaypee Punjab Warriors was leading the scorecard 2-0.
In the third quarter, both the teams stepped-on the field with more aggression. Sardar Singh-led Delhi Waveriders’ performance was improving in each quarter whereas Jaypee Punjab Warriors didn’t want to lose any opportunity from here. Delhi Waveriders started the quarter with their charge towards the opponents and tried to create some opportunities to score goals. In the 34th minute, Jaypee Punjab Warriors counter-attacked with a long pass to their Australian midfielder Simon Orchard, who was standing in the D between two defenders. Simon received the ball in the air and shot it hard into the net scoring the third goal for the team. This also registered Simon Orchard’s first goal of HHIL 2015 and the Australian player celebrated the goal by jumping into the stands and hugging his fans.
The third goal of Jaypee Punjab Warriors put huge pressure on Delhi Waveriders and the Delhi team seemed losing their ground in the match. The Jamie Dwyer-led team continued their domination in the match and kept-on charging on the opponent’s semi-circle. In the 45th minute, they managed to earn another penalty corner and this time again Sandeep Singh converted the opportunity with his powerful flick into the net. With Sandeep’s seventh goal of the HHIL 2015, Jaypee Punjab Warriors took the score to 4-0 by the end of the third quarter.
Continuing the scoring spree, the League’s top contenders Jaypee Punjab Warriors scored three more goals in the fourth quarter. They received a penalty corner in the 47th minute and it was beautifully converted into fifth goal by Australia’s best penalty corner specialist Christopher Ciriello. After three minutes, Jaypee Punjab Warriors attacked again with clean passes between each other and Robert Hammond made no mistake in reflecting the ball in the box giving his team the sixth goal in the match.
However, Sandeep Singh was not done yet and he had to surpass Ashley Jackson’s goal tally and adding the Hat-trick tag to his name too. He got the opportunity in the 53rd minute and he made no mistake in flicking it hard past the Delhi goalie. This took the score to 7-0 and Jaypee Punjab Warriors taking a huge win over Delhi Waveriders.
Speaking on the huge loss Head Coach Cedric D’Souza, Delhi Waveriders said, “We were outplayed by a team which played really well, moved the ball well and took full advantage of the chances that came their way. As far as we are concerned, we need to regroup and get ready for the upcoming matches.”
A happy Barry Dancer, Head Coach, Jaypee Punjab Warriors said, “I am very pleased with the result and more so with the level of play and the intensity with which the boys played today game. The team made a statement of intent today. After last match, we needed to show our consistency and aggression which was clearly on display today. I am proud of the boys.”
Jagbir Singh, Team manager, Jaypee Punjab Warriors, “The team played with ambition, drive and desire which was visible in the high intensity display on the field. After we lost to Uttar Pradesh Wizards, we wanted to try out variations and there was no better place than our home ground in front of our loving fans who motivate us, inspire us and back us to the hilt. The variations worked out well and the aggression and intensity of our play helped us in winning handsomely.”
Man of the match, Sandeep Singh, Jaypee Punjab Warriors said, “It is probably the best display from our team this season. Earlier we were always chasing the match but today we didn’t concede a single goal and managed to score 7 goals which shows that it was a complete and dominant performance. We need to continue in the same manner in the upcoming matches”.
Hero Goal of the Match – Simon Orchard, Jaypee Punjab Warriors
Man of the Match – Sandeep Singh, Jaypee Punjab Warriors
Next Match (Full Schedule here):
RR vs UPW – 17:00 hrs IST
DM vs KL – 19:00 hrs IST