Delhi Waveriders beats Dabang Mumbai

Talwinder Singh emphasised the value of field goals in HIL 2016, tapping home in the fourth quarter as Delhi Waveriders vaulted from 2-3 down to 4-3 victory, at the Mahindra stadium on Friday. Dabang Mumbai suffered its third defeat in a row, the first in front of home fans.

Delhi Waveriders' Talwinder Singh's (right) field goal proved to be the difference.   -  Vivek Bendre

Talwinder Singh emphasised the value of field goals in HIL 2016, tapping home in the fourth quarter as Delhi Waveriders vaulted from 2-3 down to 4-3 victory, at the Mahindra stadium on Friday. Dabang Mumbai suffered its third defeat in a row, the first in front of home fans.

DM won a penalty corner after Talwinder’s strike and with 30 seconds to go for the hooter. In a sign of things to come in the tournament, the home team risked a loss by trying for a field goal instead of corner. Florian Fuchs’ attempt at target was foiled by courageous defending by the visitors.

Fuchs had fired home a delightful field goal in the first half but DM allowed the match to slip away from their hands. His goal was adjudged the best goal, Swann picked up ‘Man of Match’ award but the visitors picked up the points.

The home team used the ball more effectively after gaining possession at the start. With the setting sun lighting up the players, DW was at the receiving end of attacks from both flanks before taking the lead with a fifth-minute penalty corner. Rupinderpal Singh picked his spot and found the net.

Florian Fuchs struck the first field goal for DM in a home match, firing in a power-packed drive along the green carpet. Devon Manchester under the bar moved in anticipation, but was beaten by the pace behind the shot from the German. The home side moved from a goal down to 2-1 ahead at half-time.

Both teams settled down in the second quarter. Roshan Minz gave DW a scare with a timely run, wide on the right, to trap a forward pass from Mujtaba. He turned around his mark and struck a well-timed reverse-hit but he was inaccurate as the ball whizzed past the far post.

Rupinder dragged in his second penalty corner goal, the fourth earned by aggressive DW. The game continued at a blistering pace under the floodlights, cool air drifting across the turf during the third quarter. The hosts were able to block direct routes to goal, conceding penalty corners. The visitors won two referrals.

DB defence of penalty corners improved and goalkeeper Hart looked more assured as the matched flowed into the fourth quarter. The punishing pace appeared to take a toll on the home team, as the rivals in green went in quest of the match-winner. Meanwhile, the goalkeeper at the other end was beaten with Harmanpreet converting a stroke (3-2).

Six goals made for an entertaining game — two field goals, two penalty corners and one penalty stroke — while numerous saves and diving tackles followed. DM ended on the losing side and await Kalinga Lancers, who arrive two days later. DW move to the next stop in the league, reputation intact as two-time finalist.

Scores: Delhi Daredevils 4 (Rupinderpal Singh 2-pcs, Talwinder Singh-fg) bt Dabang Mumbai 3 (Florian Fuchs-fg, Harmanpreet Singh-ps).