It was a double-header today in the Hockey India League (HIL), and just like the first game between UP Wizards and Delhi Waveriders, the second match of the day was equally exciting and kept everyone on the edge. In the second rubber of the day, Dabang Mumbai played out a 3-3 draw against Jaypee Punjab Warriors and displayed how close the league is going to be this time around.
Sandeep Singh and Chinglensana Singh scored twice for Punjab Warriors and Mumbai respectively, and provided an exciting finish to the game at the Mahindra Hockey Stadium.
The fourth quarter witnessed some exciting hockey from both sides and the match kept swinging from one team to another. In the final few minutes, Sandeep looked to seal the game for the visitors, but seconds before the hooter Chinglensana ensured that match ended in a draw.
A match of shifting complexions
Earlier, Mumbai dominated the proceedings and constantly threatened the visiting team with their attacks, which soon paid off when Harmanpreet Singh converted a penalty corner. Mumbai used the variations quite well, and despite having Tom Boon in their ranks used Harmanpreet to take the shot.
It was a one-way traffic from that point onwardz, and the hosts could have increased their lead, had they converted the chances that came their way. Despite dominating the match, Mumbai couldn’t score in the second quarter and the scoreline remained 1-0.
Punjab Warriors, against the run of play in the third quarter, went on level terms when maestro Jamie Dwyer scored from an acute angle in the 32nd minute. Jaap Stockman, meanwhile, also made some breathtaking saves for the visitors to keep them into the match.
A tense finish
The fourth quarter witnessed some exhilarating hockey, and Chinglensana put Mumbai forward through a fantastic reverse hit. Mumbai’s joy was short lived as Sandeep made no mistake in firing the ball past goalkeeper via a penalty stroke a few minutes later.
Sandeep completed his brace in the final minute of the match to put Punjab 3-2 up and with a lead for the first time. With moments remaining, the match was looking to go Punjab’s way, Chinglensana’s shot found its way into the net, thus bringing a very exciting contest to a clos.Published 24 Jan 2015, 00:50 IST