Delhi Waveriders beat Dabang Mumbai to clinch their first win in Hockey India League
The Delhi Waveriders finally got their first win in the Hockey India League (HIL), beating the Dabang Mumbai 3-1 at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, Delhi. This was also Mumbai’s second defeat in the league and they are at the bottom now.
Since the start of the match, Delhi created early pressure on Mumbai, and despite coming close in beating Adrian D’Souza, they failed to give the final touch. Mumbai’s defence also made some good tackles but the opening thoroughly belonged to the Waveriders.
The home side finally managed to breach Mumbai’s defence, when South African Lloyd Norris-Jones opened the scoring. In the 10th minute of the match, Norris-Jones put the Waveriders in front. Mumbai got the opportunity to come on even terms moments before the end of first quarter, but they failed to convert the penalty corner.
Delhi gained control of the proceedings in the second quarter when kiwi Simon Child scored in the 19th minute. Child put the ball past D’Souza by deflecting Rupinder Pal Singh’s dragflick as Delhi went into the half-time 2-0 up.
The third quarter witnessed Mumbai’s comeback as they carved out some fine moves and played with a lot of intent. Their perseverance soon rewarded when Arjun Halappa narrowed the scoreline to 2-1 in the 36th minute and provided an opening to his team.
After Halappa’s goal, Mumbai pressed hard for the equaliser but Delhi’s defence kept them at bay. Delhi, meanwhile, looked like getting their two-goal lead back as the third quarter was about to end but D’Souza rescued his team and kept the scoreline 2-1.
There was, however, no anticlimax for Mumbai in the final quarter, despite making goal-scoring moves. And, in the 52nd minute Akashdeep Singh restored Delhi’s lead by firing the ball past D’Souza and sealed the first victory for his side this season.