HIL: Kalinga Lancers hope to finish home campaign with victory
Bhubaneswar, Feb 12 (IANS): Strugglers Kalinga Lancers will hope to end their home campaign in the Hero Hockey India League (HIL) with a win when they face Dabang Mumbai at the Kalinga Stadium here Friday.
Kalinga will also look to avenge their 1-2 away defeat against Mumbai, who will aim at giving themselves a push for a possible semi-final entry.
When the two sides met in Mumbai, both Kalinga and Mumbai gave a tough fight to each other but Dabang Mumbai managed to win by a margin of just one goal.
Currently, both the teams are sitting at the bottom of the points table and will be striving to win the match in order to avoid finishing last in the league.
While the Jude Felix-coached Kalinga have eight points, German Valentin Altenburg-coached Mumbai have 12 points. Mumbai are three points adrift of third-placed Delhi Waveriders.
Kalinga will yet again get a chance to play amidst a cheerful and passionate home crowd. With the sole motive of winning the match, Kalinga Lancers will look forward to giving the spectators an opportunity to enjoy a perfect ending by overpowering Mumbai.
They will be boosted by the return of talented drag-flicker Gurjinder Singh. World Rising Player of the Year Gonzalo Peillat is going through a tough time.
The 22-year-old Argentine is yet to convert a short corner in the league and it has been one of the reasons for Kalinga's poor performance.
On the other hand, Mumbai will have to regroup after being drubbed 1-5 by Uttar Pradesh Wizards Wednesday.
However, they registered their first victory in the league with a win over Kalinga. That will give them immense confidence going into Friday's match.
"We have had a good match against Kalinga Lancers before and we aim to deliver similar results this time as well," Mumbai's Belgian striker Tom Boon said in a release.
"We are trying to address all possible loopholes in the game played against Uttar Pradesh Wizards and will be aiming to convert as many penalty corners as possible."