DABANG MUMBAI BEAT DELHI WAVERIDERS 3-2 in a closely fought match to ensure they stayed on top of the points table. This is the home team’s third straight win on their home soil here at the Mahindra Hockey Stadium. It was Affan Yousuf's double strike in the 29th and 30th minute that not only ensured his team earned five points from this match but he also became the leading goal scorer in the Coal India Hockey India League 2017 thus far.
Playing against the home team who celebrated an incredible 10-4 win against Jaypee Punjab Warriors in their previous game, Delhi Waveriders opened the game patiently, rotating the ball between themselves waiting for an opening into the hosts defence. Despite the several circle penetrations, it took till the 12th minute for the first real chance to materialize as the visitors won the first PC of the game. The opportunity went amiss though, Rupinder Pal Singh improvising from the injection, but his attempt was blocked away by defender Sander De Wijn.
A minute later, Manuel Brunet fashioned a chance out of a fine assist by Mandeep Singh, spinning away from his markers to unleash a shot on the goal; his shot was however brilliantly padded away by Dabang Mumbai goalkeeper David Harte, making sure the two teams went into the first break in a stalemate.
The second quarter though belonged to Dabang Mumbai’s Affan Yousuf who continued his splendid form this season. He pumped two goals past Delhi Waveriders goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch taking his personal score to seven this season and fetched his team the much-needed 3-0 lead. The first goal was created by Harmanpreet Singh’s long ball forward to Yousuf, who beat Harjeet Singh to find the net in the 29th minute. Almost immediately, Yousuf struck again in the 30th minute when his team desperately attempted to convert their first PC in the game. The ball came off a rebound when Yousuf found the gap only seconds before the first half.
The two teams kept up the high tempo of play in the third quarter, with Dabang Mumbai dominating possession and play but unable to get the breakthrough and enhance their lead. Meanwhile, Justin Reid-Ross earned Delhi Waveriders their first goal when he successfully converted a penalty corner in the 43rd minute to narrow the deficit to 3-1.
There was plenty of action in the final quarter with both teams pressing hard and fast. The visitors earned another PC, a different variation saw Rupinder Pal Singh take the drag flick and converting it successfully, narrowing the goal difference to a close 3-2. The visitors earned another PC in the 55th minute through Surender Kumar who found Harmanpreet Singh’s foot. But they missed this opportunity to level the score after team skipper Rupinder Pal Singh failed to convert the shot.
Affan Yousuf of Dabang Mumbai was awarded with a prize money of Rs 50,000 for scoring the Coal India Goal of the Match from Mr. R Mohan Das, Director (Personnel & Industrial Relations), Coal India Ltd.
Affan Yousuf of Dabang Mumbai won the prize of Rs 25,000 for being the Hero Young Achiever of the Match from Mr Edgar Mascarenhas, International Hockey Player.
The Airtel Most Entertaining Player of the Match was awarded to Emmanuel Stockbroekx of Dabang Mumbai that came with a prize money of Rs 25,000 by Mr. Mangha Singh Bakshi, President, The Mumbai Hockey Association Limited.
Dabang Mumbai's Affan Yousuf was declared the Man of the Match and was awarded a prize money of Rs 50,000 by Mr. Saumya Khaitan, CEO, Dabang Mumbai Hockey Club.
On 31 January 2017, Dabang Mumbai will take on Kalinga Lancers in Mumbai.