Ranchi Rays play exciting draw with Delhi Waveriders in HIL
It was all Delhi in the first half
Ranchi Rays, again, showed they are no short of confidence and self-belief and played a 2-2 draw, which at one point looked unlikely, with defending champions Delhi Waveriders at the Astroturf Hockey Stadium, Ranchi today. It was not an ideal start for the Rays in their first home match as the Waveriders took the lead as early as in the third minute. Akashdeep Singh provided the visitors a dream start and made no mistake in gunning the ball into the net.
The Waveriders ended the first quarter on a high and they extended their lead in the second when Danish Mujtaba made it 2-0 for them. Ranchi managed to save the penalty corner, but the ball went to Mujtaba, who made no mistake in scoring off a rebound.
Against the run of play, Ranchi managed to reduce Delhi’s lead just two minutes later and went into the half-time with a ray of hope. Nick Budgeon scored for the hosts through a penalty corner, when his dragflick fired into the goal in the 27th minute.
Ranchi comeback in the second half
The second-half was all about the Ranchi Rays as they played a lot of intent and held the ball quite well compared to previous two quarters. And, they were soon rewarded when Mandeep Singh scored the equaliser in the 35th minute.
Ranchi was pressing for the winner, while the Waveriders defending most of the time and they managed to held with a pinch of luck. Ashley Jackson could have scored on a penalty corner but his shot, taking deflection from goalkeeper, hit the post.
In the final 15 minutes of the game, Ranchi came close of scoring the winner a number of times but they couldn’t find the net. The Waveriders defended quite well, despite down to ten men, especially during the penalty corners.
South Africa’s Tim Drummond was the pick of the players for the Waveriders, while Manpreet Singh was instrumental in a number of attacks of the Ranchi Rays.