A resilient Dabang Mumbai showed class yet again with a magnificent comeback in the dying minutes of the match to hand the home side Delhi Waveriders a heartbreaking loss. It was Florian Fuchs' 60th-minute field goal that fetched Dabang Mumbai a 3-2 win.
Delhi Waveriders were desperate for a win and it was evident from their efforts today when they put up an inspired fight against table toppers Dabang Mumbai.
Though the home team, backed by a packed Shivaji Stadium, got off to a strong start making several forays into the circle, they could not make the chances count. They were quick to earn two PCs in the initial minutes but their woes with converting them continued to haunt as they failed to convert as many as seven PCs today.
Dabang Mumbai, on the other hand, were not the ones to let go of their chances. A video referral by the visiting team was upheld by the umpires and they were awarded a PC in the 24th minute.
Australian drag flicker Kieran Govers was inch-perfect when he improvised on the injection to send the ball past Vincent Vanasch giving his team a 1-0 lead. Though the Delhi Waveriders earned an opportunity to equalise in the 26th minute, Rupinder Pal Singh’s attempt was padded away by David Harte to ensure his team kept the lead at half-time.
Post the ten-minute break, Dabang Mumbai came back strongly to put pressure on the home side. It paid off when Gurjant Singh and Affan Yousuf worked in tandem to win their team a PC in the 42nd minute. But Delhi Waveriders’ Vincent Vanasch was brilliant when he saved Jeremy Hayward’s attempt.
A breakthrough finally came in the 44th minute for the Delhi Waveriders when Junior World Cup star Mandeep Singh proved why he is Delhi Waveriders’ most bankable player. Mandeep struck a brilliant field goal, picking up a perfect assist from Talwinder Singh, only to beat the defenders in the circle and send the ball past Harte.
The goal not only enthralled the home crowd but also snatched the lead from Dabang Mumbai ending the quarter at 2-1.
The last quarter was nothing short of a thriller with the Delhi Waveriders doing everything they could to keep the lead. They won two PCs within the first four minutes of the quarter but couldn’t make it count yet again.
Dabang Mumbai are known for making a comeback in the dying minutes of the game and they did just that when skipper Florian Fuchs scored his 10th goal of the season with just 24 seconds to go for the final hooter, handing a heartbreaking loss to Delhi Waveriders, denting the team’s hopes of a semi-final berth.
Mandeep Singh of Delhi Waveriders was awarded a prize money of Rs 50,000 for scoring the Coal India Goal of the Match from Ms Shanti Lata Sahu, Director Personnel Northern Coal Fields Ltd.
Manpreet of Dabang Mumbai won the prize of Rs 25,000 for being the Hero Young Achiever of the Match from Mr. Harbinder Singh, Olympian.
The Airtel Most Entertaining Player of the Match was awarded to Benjamin Stanzl of Delhi Waveriders and that came with a prize money of Rs 25,000 and was presented by Ms Elena Norman, CEO, Coal India Hockey India League.
Surender Kumar of Delhi Waveriders was declared the Man of the Match and was awarded a prize money of Rs 50,000 by Mr. Raj Chauhan, General Manager, Zabardast Hit 95 FM.
On 16 February, Uttar Pradesh Wizards will take on Ranchi Rays in Lucknow at 1900 hrs. Matches will be shown live on Star Sports 2 & HD 2 and Star Sports 3 & HD 3 and live streamed on Hotstar.com.