DELHI WAVERIDERS defeated hosts Dabang Mumbai 4-3 to register their third victory of the Coal India Hockey India League (HIL) at the Mahindra Hockey Stadium in Mumbai on Friday.
Waveriders, the 2014 champions opened the scoring in the eighth minute via a penalty corner conversion from Rupinderpal Singh, but Mumbai came back well in the first quarter itself with a field goal from Florian Fuchs which gave them 2-1 lead.
But the third quarter saw Delhi equalise (2-2) via penalty corner with another penalty corner conversion from Rupinder. Thereafter, Mumbai scored their third goal via Harmanpreet Singh's penalty stroke in the 54th minute (3-2).
But to the surprise of the home fans, Talwinder Singh scored a field goal in the dying minutes to make it 4-3 for Delhi.
With this win, Delhi moved to the top of the standings with 16 points from four matches. Ranchi Rays also have 16 points but the defening champions are behind by goal difference.
This loss was lowest-ranked side Mumbai's third in a row, with only three points from three matches.
The match started at a fierce competitive level, with both teams leaving no chance to score but some quality defence in both ends saw neither teams taking the lead.
But it was the visiting team that took the lead in the eighth minute via penalty corner. Rupinder Pal Singh flicked the ball to the top of the net as Mumbai goalkeeper David Harte was beaten by pace.
The home side got a penalty corner in the tenth minute but failed to convert it into a goal.
But just three minutes away from the first quarter, German striker Fuchs gave the home side a 2-1 lead via field goal which is counted as two in the current edition of the league.
A strong forehand from the German Olympic gold medallist from the right of Delhi gave the defenders very little chance to prevent the home side from scoring.
From there on Mumbai went into the first quarter with a 2-1 lead.
The second quarter started with a flurry of attacking shots by Mumbai which saw them being rewarded with two penalty corners in the 18th minute and 27th minute. But they failed to turn the two golden opportunity into fruitful results.
On the other hand, Delhi responded well as they pressed hard to find the much needed equaliser before the half time whistle. But some good defending by the home side saw them go into the break with 2-1 score in favour of Mumbai.
Soon after the start of third and penultimate quarter, Mumbai got two back-to-back penalty corners, but couldn’t convert into goals.
But in the 39th minute of play a well earned penalty corner by Delhi saw them level things up. Rupinder scored his second goal for the night as he fired the ball to the left of the goal even as Vikas Sharma applied his stick to prevent the goal to make it 2-2 -- the scoreline that remained till the end of third quarter.
The fourth and last quarter saw Mumbai pressing on hard go get the one vital goal and they got it in the 54th minute via penalty stroke to make it 3-2. Harmanpreet scored the goal.
It was not the end, as 56th minute saw Delhi score a field goal which took the score to 4-3 in their favour. Talwinder scored the vital goal after a build up from Benzamin Stanzl.
The goal of the match award went to Fuchs, while the Emerging player of the match to Affan Yousuf of Mumbai. The Most entertaining player award went to Devon Manchester of Delhi and Mumbai skipper Matthew Swann was declared the man of the match.
Mumbai will next face Kalinga Lancers on Sunday here, while Waveriders will take on Uttar Pradesh Wizards on February 1 in their first match at home.