Defending champions Delhi Waveriders rode roughshod over a struggling Dabang Mumbai and notched up a convincing 3-1 win in their Hockey India League encounter at the Mahindra Stadium on Thursday.
The visiting team got their first two goals of the match through New Zealander Simon Child, in the 5th and 47th minutes, before India international Harmanpreet Singh reduced the margin for Mumbai with a penalty corner goal in the 51st minute.
Any hopes of Mumbai coming back and drawing the game through a late goal as they did in their opening game against Punjab Warriors was botched when Australia’s Jason Wilson found the mark two minutes from the end ? the visitors’ third field goal of the game ? to complete the rout.
Delhi had beaten Mumbai by the same score-line in their first-leg encounter and the victory was their second in five games in the tournament, both notched against Mumbai.
Mumbai continued to remain winless in the league following their third loss in five games and remained at the bottom of the six-team table.
Delhi were clearly the superior team, faster on the ball and faster to recover after staving off a raid.
Their current India players ? skipper Sardar Singh and right back Gurbaj Singh ? controlled the flow of moves beautifully.
Up front, Child, Steven Edwards, Wilson and Akashdeep Singh looked sharp.
Mumbai, on the other hand, lacked in speed and cohesion and could not penetrate the rival circle as they wanted to do.
Australian Glenn Turner again looked a forlorn figure up front without adequate support from the rear.
The opening goal of the game came as early as the fifth minute.
Yuvraj Walmiki trapped it on top of the rival ‘D’ put forth a short pass to a totally unmarked Child on the left who had all the time in the world to take a stiff reverse hit, beat a casual-looking Mumbai custodian Adrian D’Souza and sound the board.
Mumbai got one good look at the rival goal in the third quarter but Tom Boon’s reverse hit from the left harmlessly sailed over the crossbar.
Mumbai continued to search vainly for the equaliser when the fourth and last quarter commenced but it was their citadel that fell again early.
It was Child again, fed on the right flank by Gurwinder Chandi via Edwards, who showed a clean pair of heels to two rival defenders as he cut into the ‘D’ and pushed firmly past D’Souza’s outstretched right leg to find the far corner of the goal.
Down 0-2 and with their semi final hopes seemingly slipping away, Mumbai attacked strongly from the right to earn their third penalty corner with 9 minutes left in the game.
This time Harmanpreet made no mistake with his drag-flick and reduced the lead.
Mumbai continued to press hard for the second goal and earned their fourth short corner four minutes later. However, Harmanpreet’s drag-flick was blocked with his left foot by an alert Pieterse under the Delhi bar.
But off a fast counter attack on the left side by Delhi, the ball was relayed to an unmarked Chandi on the right who, in turn, passed to Wilson stationed wide to his left, who beat D’Souza with a scoop to round off the tally.