NEW DELHI: An amazing piece of stickwork by the ever vibrant Mandeep Singh, with two minutes left on the clock, clinched a 6-4 victory for Delhi Waveriders over the second-placed Kalinga Lancers in the Hockey India League at the Shivaji Stadium here on Sunday.
After having led 3-0 at half-time following an early strike by Talwinder Singh and a penalty corner conversion by Justin Reid-Ross, Delhi looked to have lost the momentum following two swift strikes by Dharamvir Singh and captain Moritz Fuertse for Kalinga, which counted for two goals each, in the third quarter.
In between, Kalinga had a penalty corner goal disallowed following a video referral, which proved the decisive change of fortunes.
However, Delhi, cheered by a noisy crowd, did not lose hope and equalised through a stinging shot by Rupidner Pal Singh, who converted the team’s eighth penalty corner.
The team had managed to convert only one of the seven penalty corners in the first half, and it was a bolt from the blue for the host. It showed the determination in the ranks with three minutes left for the
Of course, converting the penalty corners was a tough proposition for
both the teams on one end as it was difficult to trap the bouncing
ball that often jumped awkwardly.
Quite cleverly, Justin had flicked one gently high to catch the defence
and the goalkeeper off guard for the only penalty corner conversion
that consolidated Delhi’s position in the first-half.
As time was ticking, Mandeep made repeated attempts and followed up on the rebound to flick one home and send the crowd into a delirium.
It was a well-deserved victory for the host, which had revived its fortunes in the last match with a thumping victory over Uttar Pradesh.
In its first home match earlier, Delhi had given a good account of itself before losing a close encounter to Punjab, which is fourth.
However, there was no doubt that with five points coming for a victory, Delhi could still fancy its chances of a semifinal berth with three more matches to go. Quite notably, two of them will be at home.
For a team that drew a blank from its first four matches, Delhi has really recovered lost ground to stay in the race for the knock-out phase.
The fact that in the normal course it would have been a 4-2 victory for Delhi proved its domination on the day. It should not be lost that the goals fetched a point for Kalinga Lancers even in defeat and consolidated its position at the second spot.
Delhi Waveriders 6 (Talwinder Singh 2 (FG), Manpreet Singh 2, Justin Reid-Ross, Rupinder Pal Singh) bt Kalinga Lancers 4 (Dharamvir Singh 2 (FG), Moritz Fuertse 2 (FG)).