Pro Kabaddi 2019, Match 49: "We made lots of mistakes in 2-3 minutes to give the game away," laments U Mumba captain Fazel Atrachali
This was Haryana's 5th win of the competition and they did most of their work early, opening up a 16-8 lead at half-time. But U Mumba engineered a comeback in the 2nd half to make it close and came within 3 points as Haryana led 26-23.
But Haryana's defence delayed the All Out long enough and then opened up a slender lead which they held till the end of the match. Steelers coach Rakesh Kumar was happy to get back to winning ways at the post-match press conference.
"I'm happy with the way the team came through at the end. They held their nerve in the crucial moments," said Rakesh.
However, he was not too pleased with letting the lead slip which his team had created at half-time.
"I'm a little bit upset though because this match should never have been this close. We played so well and had a comfortable lead at half-time and we need to avoid these mistakes which allow the other team to come back into the game", said Rakesh.
The coach credited Chand Singh who he introduced as a substitute in the 2nd half. With his help, Haryana effected 2 Super Tackles in the match which helped delay their All Out.
"I introduced Chand into the match because he can catch the ankles of the raiders very well. And he is an unknown entity. That worked in our favour today and he did very well," added Rakesh.
U Mumba captain Fazel Atrachali felt the match slipped from their hands when they failed to get the All Out on time in the 2nd half. A defensive mistake from him and another from Surinder Singh helped Haryana escape twice when they were down to just one man.
"We made lots of mistakes in about 2-3 minutes which for us were costly," admitted Fazel.
"The defence of Haryana in Super Tackle changed the game. I knew before the game that Haryana are a tough team when they have the lead because they have a raider like Vikash Kandola who is very good in Do-or-Die as he is very fast and has good footwork," said the Mumba captain who had 4 tackle points in the match.
U Mumba's fightback in the 2nd half was led by Abhishek Singh who came on as a sub and finished with 6 raid points. Coach Sanjeev Kumar Baliyan said Abhishek is nursing a shoulder injury and that they introduced him only because they wanted to make a comeback into the game.
Fazel also echoed the same sentiment saying, "We have 2 more months to go so we need Abhishek for that. Today we were trailing so we introduced him and he played very well to bring us back in the game. But it's a long season."
U Mumba next play the home team Tamil Thalaivas on Friday.