New Delhi: Defending champions Delhi Waveriders finally opened their account by notching their first win of the 2015 Hockey India League when they defeated Dabang Mumbai at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here Sunday.
Both teams had two draws and a loss in their previous three matches and were eager to get their first win and five full points. The Waveriders came out winners, beating the visiting team 3-1.
Waveriders got the first penalty corner of the match just seven minutes into the game but were unlucky to capitalise on the opportunity. The breakthrough finally came in the 10th minute when man-of-the-match Lloyd Norris Jones got a clean long pass at the opponent’s D and made no mistake in ensuring he hit it cleanly past the Mumbai goalie.
With the Waveriders leading 1-0 in the first quarter, the intent was clear for Mumbai in the second. However, the hosts were awarded with a penalty corner in the 19th minute and Rupinder Pal Singh ensured the ball found the net to extend the lead 2-0.
Immediately into the third quarter, Mumbai won a penalty corner and an opportunity to close the gap but a brilliant stop by Timmothy Drummond denied Mumbai a goal. This did not deter the visiting team as they continued their attack.
In the 36th minute, Arjun Hallapa, standing at the D, got a pass and he struck past the goalkeeper to give his team the much required goal.
In the 52nd minute, seamless passes by the Waveriders helped Akashdeep Singh to score, taking the score to 3-1. Despite a few efforts from the Mumbai team, they were unable to score with the match ending in the favour of the defending champions.
“We played to our best capabilities and ensured less mistakes. The focus was on good hockey and not to repeat the mistakes of our last match. So far the boys have played good hockey but because of the mistakes in the past matches we lost the opportunity to finish the games in our favour. The aim from here will be to make winning a habit and this win should further enhance our game in the league,” Waveriders head coach Cedric D’Souza said.