Mumbai, 21st January 2013: Delhi Waveriders won a 10-goal thriller 6-4 against Dabur Mumbai Magicians to go on top of the points table of the Hero Hockey India League on Monday at the MHA stadium, Mumbai.
In a match played at a cracking pace, Oscar Deecke, Norris Jones, Danish Mujtaba, Akashdeep Singh, Andres Mir Bel and Simon Child scored a goal each for the visitors. Sandeep Singh’s brace, and Glen Turner and Jason Wilson’s one goal each wasn’t good enough for the hosts, who have now lost four out of four games in the league stage.
“We played well for the first three quarters, but it all went away from us in the last quarter,” Magicians’ skipper for the evening Matthew Swann said.
The match started at a good pace, and Waveriders had a chance to take the lead in the sixth minute. Gurvinder Chandi made a superb run from the right flank, and his on the run pass went to Akashdeep Singh, who tried to guide it towards the goal. Akashdeep managed to beat Magicians’ goalkeeper Rao, but just missed the target. And just a couple of minutes later, the hosts made Waveriders pay for that missed chance. A good run by their forwards earned Magicians a penalty corner. And for the second consecutive day in this stadium, Sandeep Singh chose to go between the goalkeeper’s legs, and was successful, just like he was on Sunday.
Waveriders made constant attacks on the Magicians’ goal after that, and managed to equalize in the 14th minute. Akashdeep Singh made a brilliant pass to an unmarked Oscar Deecke, and Deecke made no mistake with his strike, wrong-footing Magicians’ goalkeeper PT Rao. The hosts had a chance to go back into the lead in the last minute of the first quarter, but Sandeep Singh failed to convert the penalty corner this time.
The second quarter belonged to the visitors, as they scored twice, and looked like scoring a few more. A brilliant individual goal by Norris Jones gave Waveriders the lead in the 23rd minute. Norris Jones took the ball from near the half line, beat four defenders, and smashed a reverse hit from right, beating PT Rao, who had covered his right post a bit too much, leaving a huge gap on the left corner. Waveriders earned a penalty corner in the next minute, but Rupinder Pal Singh failed to increase their lead. They did manage to increase the lead two minutes later, with five Waveriders’ players attacking the Magicians’ D. Norris Jones’ hit was blocked well by Rao, but the rebound fell to Danish Mujtaba, who smacked the ball in the left corner. Just like the first quarter, Magicians got a penalty corner in the last minute of the second quarter too. This time Sandeep Singh took the aerial root, but the ball went over the goal-post.
If the second quarter was dominated by Waveriders, the third was dominated by goals, with the host scoring thrice. Waveriders began the quarter very well, earning two penalty corners in the first five minutes. But GK Sreejesh, who replaced PT Rao on the goal for the hosts, made excellent saves on both occasions. The hosts finally managed to reduce the deficit in the 42nd minute, converting a penalty corner. This time Sandeep opted to keep the ball o the ground and Glen Turner deflected it into the goal.
Mumbai made a number of attacks on the Waveriders’ goal in search of equalizers, and were rewarded with another penalty corner five minutes later. With Sandeep out, Jason Wilson took his place, and struck a low shot that beat Nicolas Jacobi. Magicians earned another penalty corner three minutes later, and Sandeep Singh scored his second with a sharp angular shot in the right corner, beating a diving Jacobi.
The hosts’ lead lasted just for two minutes, as Akashdeep and Chandi combined well to equalize for the visitors in the last minute of the third quarter. Waveriders forward got Sreejesh out of his position, and then gave a self-less pass to Akashdeep near the left side of the post. Akashdeep was accurate with his push with goalkeeper well out of his position.
The visitors began the final quarter on top, earning a penalty corner in the first minute and the visitors taking the lead once again. The ball wasn’t stopped properly, but Waveriders tried a variation and Spaniard Andres Mir Bel hit a hard grounded hit that left Sreejesh clue-less. In the 58th minute, Waveriders just shut Magicians out of the game, with some brilliant play. Sardar Singh did some superb work in the hosts’ half, before passing the ball to Chandi. Chandi passed the ball to Simon Child right in front of the Magicians’ goal and the New Zealander made no mistake to restore Waveriders’ two-goal lead.
At the post match press conference Sardar Singh, Captain Delhi Waveriders, said “I prepare myself according to the tournament I play. Today if we have won this match it’s because of team effort; I could play for complete 70 minutes today only because of their support”
Adding to the captains statements AK Bansal, Coach Delhi Waveriders, said “Right now these boys don’t need coaching, they need management which I think is the plus point of our team. We’ve done really good field goals today now we are working hard on our penalty corner, that’s our main target ahead”
In their next home match, Dabur Mumbai Magicians take on Uttar Pradesh Wizards on 30th January, at the MHA stadium at 6 p.m. and Delhi Waveriders will play their next home match against Dabur Mumbai Magicians at MDC National Stadium on 26th January at 7 p.m.
The Hero Hockey India League is organised by Hockey India with official sanction from the International Hockey Federation (FIH). The inaugural season is being played from January 14 to February 10, 2013 in a home-and-away format. The five franchisee-based teams, consisting of the top hockey players from India and around the world, will compete for the prestigious trophy. Hero Motocorp Ltd. is the Title Sponsor of the league while Airtel is the Associate Sponsor. Star Sports, who is the Broadcast Partner, will be telecasting all matches live.
Tomorrow 22nd January, Jaypee Punjab Warriors will play against Uttar Pradesh Wizards at the Surjit Singh Hockey Stadium, at 8 p.m.
Hero goal of the day: Akashdeep Singh
Man-of-the-Match: Gurvinder Singh Chandi
Result: Delhi Waveriders 6 (Oscar Deecke 14, Norris Jones 23, Danish Mujtaba 25, Akashdeep Singh 53, Andres Mir Bel 55, Simon Child 58) beat Mumbai Magicians 4 (Sandeep Singh 8, 51, Glen Turner 42, Jason Wilson 48