Tag Archives: #hil

Hockey India League: MS Dhoni’s Ranchi Rays win title on debut

Debutants Ranchi Rays produced an inspired performance and twice came back from a goal down to beat favourites Jaypee Punjab Warriors in the shootout and emerge champions of the third Hockey India League at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium on Sunday.

India cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni co-owned Ranchi Rays fought hard to eke out a 3-2 win in the shoot-out after both the teams were locked at 2-2 in the regulation time of the thrilling summit clash.

Kieran Govers (39th minute) and Christopher Ciriello (56th) scored the goals for Punjab Warriors while Stanli Minz (42nd) and Barry Middleton (57th) were the goal getters for Ranchi Rays in the regulation period.

Last year’s champions Delhi Waveriders finished third after beating Uttar Pradesh Wizards 2-1 in the third-fourth place play-off match earlier in the day.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Indian Olympic Association Secretary General Rajiv Mehta were in attendance at the stadium today.

The summit clash witnessed exciting first two quarters with both the teams playing free-flowing hockey.

The Punjab Warriors might have entered the final as favourites going by their form this season, but it was Ranchi Rays which looked more threatening to score goals at least in the opening 30 minutes.

The Rays enjoyed the better share of ball possession in the opening two quarters and created some good moves but failed to convert them into goals.

In the absence of experienced Jamie Dwyer, who missed the match with an injury, the Punjab Warriors’ forward line lacked creativity, which was quite clearly evident in their performance in the opening half.

Even though it was action-packed first half, both the teams failed to garner a single penalty corner.

The match livened up after the change of ends and finally the crowd could see the first penalty corner of the match in the 34th minute which went in favour of Punjab Warriors, but Sandeep Singh’s high flick was gloved away by Lovell Tyler in front of Ranchi goal.

The Punjab Warriors came out with more purpose in the third quarter and finally managed to break the deadlock in the 39th minute through Govers who sounded the board with a first time shot after the attack was build up Chris Ciriello’s interception.

Stunned by the goal, the Ranchi Rays went on the offensive and earned a penalty corner in the 41st minute. But Punjab Warriors went for the referral which was upheld by the TV umpire.

In the very next minute, the Rays secured another penalty corner and Minz scored with a rebound after Ashley Jackson’s initial flick was saved by Punjab Warriors goalkeeper Jaap Stockmann.

The Rays got their second penalty corner just after the start of the fourth and final quarter but this time Jackson’s try was kept out by an alert Stockmann.

Four minutes from the final hooter, Satbir Singh pounced on a defensive error to win Punjab Warriors second penalty corner and Ciriello made no mistake in converting the opportunity to hand his side 2-1 lead.

But Punjab Warriors’ joy was shortlived as Ranchi Rays drew level from the very next move through Middleton, who guided home a Mandeep Singh pass from the right.

In the final three minutes, the Punjab Warriors got two more chances in the form of penalty corners to seal the match in their favour but wasted both the opportunities as Tyler made a fine save to deny Sandeep and take the encounter into shoot-out.

In the shoot-out, Simon Orchard, SV Sunil and Robert Hammond missed for Punjab Warriors with only Ciriello and Dharamvir Singh converting their shots.

For Ranchi Rays, skipper Ashley Jackson, Daniel Beale scored while Jackson converted a penalty stroke after Stockmann fouled Manpreet during his attempt in the shoot-out. Birendra Lakra was lone miss for the champions.

Earlier in the day, last year’s champion Delhi Waveriders defeated Uttar Pradesh Wizards 2-1 to win the consolation bronze medal.

The Waveriders scored two field goals through Rupinder Pal Singh (6th minute) and Yuvraj Walmiki (50th) to register the victory, while Wizards’ lone goal came from the sticks of Bob de Voogd in the 18th minute.

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.


Converting The Penalty Corners Will Be The Team’s Strength: VR Raghunath On The Hero Hockey India League 2015

Uttar Pradesh Wizards captain VR Raghunath said on Friday that his team will rely on penalty corner conversions to go all the way in the Hockey India League (HIL) starting from January 22.

Being among the top drag-flickers of the world, the Karnataka player led the Wizards twice and took the team to the semifinals of the previous two editions. The Indian defender plans to materialise maximum scoring opportunities through penalty corners.

“The league this time is going to be tough as the best players of the world will take part in it. The strength of our team will be the drag-flicking skills,” he said in a statement.

The 26-year-old drag-flick specialist was third in the lists of the top goal scorers of both the previous two editions.

Proving his worth and becoming a motivation to the defence line of Wizards in the first season of the HIL, Raghunath scored a total number of nine goals where all the goals came from penalty corner conversions. He scored four goals to help the team take third position.

Trailing the achievement of the first season, he scored eight goals again from penalty corners in the subsequent edition. However, his team failed to finish on the podium.

In addition to Raghunath, the team also has the service of the Netherlands goal-poacher Jeroen Hertzberger, who didn’t play last time citing busy international schedule.

Raghunath said that their defence has been strengthened due to the availability of talented Dutch internationals Marcel Balkestein and Jolie Wouter.

“I am excited to share the field with Harbir Singh, the Netherlands’ Marcel Balkestein and Jolie Wouter, who are surely a boost to our defence line-up. I look forward to the third season and aiming to improve our position by finishing on a winning note this time,” he said.

UP Wizards will play their first match on January 23 against defending champions Delhi Waveriders in Lucknow. The opening day of the league will witness Kalinga Lancers taking on Ranchi Rays at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.