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Pro Kabaddi League 2017 Season 5: "We can win all our remaining matches," says Dabang Delhi star Nilesh Shinde 

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414   //    24 Sep 2017, 02:21 IST

Nilesh Shinde (right) was still optimistic about his team's chances of qualifying
Nilesh Shinde (right) was still optimistic about his team's chances of qualifying

After a heartbreaking loss at the hands of U Mumba that saw them lose out in the dying moments of the game, the Dabang Delhi suffered another blow on the second day of their Pro Kabaddi Season 5 home leg on Saturday. They were up against a strong Puneri Paltan side and at half-time, they led 14-9, putting up a fine show over the 20 minutes and showcasing some solid, compact kabaddi.

However, like so many times this season, they let their guard down and Pune came back roaring into the match. Deepak Niwas Hooda, the captain of the away side, led by example and finished the game with a Super 10. Early in the second half, two super tackles were enough to see them close the gap and from 14-13, they unbelievably won 17 of the next 19 points, taking the score to 16-30 and then seeing the game out till the end.

A host of defensive errors in the second half saw the Delhi side lose out from yet another strong position and despite corner man Nilesh Shinde returning to the starting lineup after a long gap, he was unable to stem the flow as Pune plundered one point after another.

"We made too many errors in defence in the second half," lamented a dejected Shinde in the post-match press conference. "We're making the same mistakes again and again. We need to keep our cool during pressure situations. Hopefully, we can do that in the next matches," he said.

The team from Delhi are rock bottom in the Zone A standings and have won just four games out of the 14 they have played so far. With just eight matches left in their league campaign, they have an uphill task to finish in the top three, which is 17 points away.

"We are still hopeful that we can make it. The team's morale is good as we know that we are a strong team but lose out narrowly because of tiny mistakes," said Shinde. He then added, "We can definitely win all our matches from here. There's no way we are out contention."

Time is running out for the side from the national capital, who are winless in their last five matches, with four straight losses and one drawn game. They will now face off against the Haryana Steelers on Sunday in what promises to be an intriguing battle and a must-win one for the home side.

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