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HIL: Child scores twice as Delhi Waveriders outclass Dabang Mumbai 3-1

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.


Ray of hope after Ranchi hold champs

A spirited Ranchi Rays overcame a two-goal deficit to hold defending champions Delhi Waveriders to a 2-2 draw in a league match of the third Hockey India League (HIL) on Monday.

The draw took Rays to seven points from three games. After going down 3-6 to Kalinga Lancers in the tournament opener, the Ashley Jackson-led side defeated Dabang Mumbai 2-1 in their previous match. The Waveriders, on the other hand, have garnered four points so far, having registered their second consecutive draw in the tournament. The Sardar Singh-led outfit was held on to an identical 2-2 draw by Uttar Pradesh Wizards in their opening match of the season.

Akashdeep Singh’s strike in the fourth minute gave Waveriders an early lead before Danish Mujtaba doubled the scoreline in the 27th minute from a penalty corner.

The Waveriders kept up the pressure on the Ranchi defence and earned three penalty corners in quick succession late in the second quarter, the third of which was scored by Mujtaba with a rebound after the home team goalkeeper Lovell Tyler made a great save.

But a minute later, Nick Budgeon (28th) scored with a fierce dragflick from a penalty corner to pull one back for the Rays just at the stroke of halftime. The Rays came out with more purpose after the change of ends and drew parity five minutes into the third quarter through Mandeep Singh (35th), who guided the ball into the net with a vital deflection from a flick.