U Mumba emerge victorious in Maha derby with a 30-27 win over Puneri Paltan
U Mumba continued their winning run with a 30-27 win over derby rivals Puneri Paltan in front of a vociferous crowd at the NSCI Stadium in Mumbai. In the absence of Manjeet Chhillar, the Paltan fell short despite the best efforts of Jasmer Gulia, who amassed 6 points while Anup Kumar, Rakesh Kumar and Mohit Chhillar stole the show for the home team with 8,7 and 5 points respectively.
Having already ensured qualification to the semis yesterday, U Mumba’s start was littered with complacent performances. Both the teams exchanged blows in the initial stages before Surendra Singh’s raid and Jasmer Gulia’s tackle on Anup made it 5-3 in favour of the visitors in the 10th minute. It wasn’t long before Rishank Devadiga restored parity in this low-scoring encounter, but Ajay Thakur’s spectacular raid restored their 2-point lead in the very next minute.
In the 17th minute, the home team were on the verge of an all out when Surendra won 2 points in his raid, but Rakesh, single-handedly, avoided the all out. Anup conjured up a super raid in the dying stages of the first half to ensure both the teams were level at the break.
HT: U Mumba 12-12 Puneri Paltan
In the first minute of the second half, however, the visitors completed the all out on the defending champions by tackling the Indian captain, Anup Kumar. But, U Mumba came roaring back and by the 28th minute, took the lead through Rishank’s raid.
Mohit’s tackle on Ajay Thakur in the very next minute got the visitors on the verge of an all out. However, Jasmer showed his quality by delivering 3 back-to-back super tackles as the visitors led 23-22 with 6 minutes to go in the match. Another super tackle on Rakesh Kumar in the 38th minute had Puneri Paltan on the verge of their first ever win over U Mumba as they led by 3 points (26-23).
But, the crowd showed they believed in the home team, who repaid their faith by levelling the score in the very next minute. The all out was enforced on the visitors by Anup Kumar as U Mumba established a 4-point lead with the buzzer raid to go. Rakesh Kumar sacrificed himself to make sure his team extended their winning streak to 8 matches while Puneri Paltan suffered their first loss in 7 matches.
FT: U Mumba 30-27 Puneri Paltan
You can relive all the tackles by Jasmer Gulia in the derby, presented by hotstar, below: