HIL: A win at last for Dabang Mumbai against Kalinga Warriors
Dabang Mumbai carved out their maiden victory in the Hero Hockey India League when they edged past Kalinga Warriors 2-1 at the Mahindra Stadium yesterday.
A Dabang Mumbai player (red jersey) is tracked by Kalinga Lancers players during their Hockey India League match at the MHA-Mahindra Stadium, Churchgate yesterday. Pic/PTI
Mumbai, who had drawn two games and lost three, thus kept their quarter final hopes afloat by moving past the Lancers into the fifth place in the six-team tournament.
For the visitors, it was their sixth defeat in seven games and it resulted in them moving to the bottom of the table, and it would be very difficult for them to recover from this defeat and advance into the semi finals.
Penalty corners vital
Mumbai scored both their goals via penalty corners, through an indirect conversion by Australian defender Jeremy Hayward and through their penalty corner expert Harmanpreet Singh in the 18th and 42nd minutes of the game.
Kalinga scored their goal, a fine effort from the field, through Mohd Amir Khan in the 42nd minute.
The battle between the two outfits did not rise to great heights as far as speed and innovative moves were concerned.
It was workmanlike hockey, at best. The first quarter saw the Lancers gaining the upper hand initially with moves by India international Lalit Upadhyay, but Mumbai defense held fort. Then it was Mumbai who were on the attack to earn two penalty corners which went waste.
But the hosts, winless in five previous games, shot into the lead three minutes into the second quarter off their third penalty corner award.
Australian World Cup winning member Hayward scooped into the goal from the right when he received the ball off the rival custodian Andrew Charter's pads when he blocked Harmanpreet's penalty corner try.
Stung to the quick by this reversal, the visitors attacked with gusto and succeeded in forcing three short corners in quick succession but all of these were wasted.
Crossing over with a 1-0 advantage, the Mumbai outfit made it 2-0 in the 13th minute of the quarter when Harmanpreet drag-flicked successfully to the left of rival goalie Charter.