Dabang Mumbai’s 3-match winning streak came to an end against Jaypee Punjab Warriors, who moved to the top of the Coal India Hockey India League table. Jeremy Hayward scored in the final minute as the Alphas slumped to a 1-5 loss at the Mahindra Hockey Stadium in Mumbai. The home team could have moved up to second spot with a win today.
Jay Stacy fielded an unchanged side to face the Warriors, but they were handed an early blow through Varun Kumar’s brilliant penalty corner in the third minute.
GOAL! 3’ Dabang Mumbai 0-1 Jaypee Punjab Warriors: Varun Kumar (PC)
Four minutes later, Johan Björkman spurned a glorious chance to put the home team in the lead when he hit his shot straight at the Punjab goalkeeper, Tristan Clemens. With the first quarter coming to a close, the visitors won another penalty corner, which was converted by Mark Gleghorne.
GOAL! 13’ Dabang Mumbai 0-2 Jaypee Punjab Warriors: Mark Gleghorne (PC)
The second quarter started with both teams feeling each other out in the initial stages. The 2015 FIH Goalkeeper of the year, David Harte denied Gleghorne from close range in the 24th minute to deny the Warriors from building on their lead. However, he was helpless to stop Chris Ciriello’s second attempt from a penalty corner 2 minutes later.
GOAL! 26’ Dabang Mumbai 0-3 Jaypee Punjab Warriors: Chris Ciriello (PC)
In the 29th minute, David Harte pulled out a superhuman effort to prevent Punjab twice in a space of seconds as the half ended with the home team trailing by 3 goals. The last time the Alphas trailed by 3 goals, they went on to win 8-3, but there was no such joy for the home team this time around.
Dabang Mumbai tried hard to reduce the deficit and even conjured up a couple of good chances, but luck was not on their side. In the 41st minute, their hopes were dashed when Nithin Thimmaiah scored a field goal to make it 5-0 in favour of the visitors.
GOAL! 41’ Dabang Mumbai 0-5 Jaypee Punjab Warriors: Nithin Thimmaiah (FG)
The final quarter saw a resolute Mumbai defence thwart a plethora of chances for the visiting team. The home team won a penalty corner in the final minute and Jeremy Hayward ensured Clemens didn’t return to Punjab with a clean sheet by sweeping the ball into the bottom right corner.
GOAL! 60’ Dabang Mumbai 1-5 Jaypee Punjab Warriors: Jeremy Hayward (PC)
The hooter went soon after to signal Dabang Mumbai’s biggest defeat this season. The Alphas will now go on the road again, this time to face Ranchi Rays at the Astroturf Hockey Stadium in the capital city of Jharkhand on 14th February.