HIL: Kemperman wins it for Mumbai with last-gasp goal

Dabang Mumbai, riding on the field goal, overturned a deficit of two goals at half-time and 2-3 till then to win 4-3 against Uttar Pradesh Wizards.

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Dabang Mumbai players celebrate.   -  HIL

Robert Kemperman sent the home fans into a frenzy with a last-minute field goal, directing home a pass through a crowd of legs in the Coal India Hockey India League 2017.

Dabang Mumbai, riding on the field goal, overturned a deficit of two goals at half-time and 2-3 till then to win 4-3 against Uttar Pradesh Wizards. It was its first win in two home games at the Mahindra stadium.

The Wizards’ first tie in HIL 2017 ended in defeat at the final whistle, after leading in all four quarters and in firm control till half-time.

Harmanpreet Singh had kept the blues in the hunt with two penalty corner strikes after Wizards took a 2-0 lead via a field goal from Argentine Augustin Mazzilli. P. Sreejesh, under the bar, was beaten twice by Harmanpreet. The drag-flick specialist and one of India’s emerging stars fired the first to the right corner and the second into the roof for a classical strike.

Five penalty corners over four quarters stood testimony to the clever work by the defenders at both ends. The ferocity and execution in penalty corner situations is one of hockey'shighs, matched only by the surprise element and reflexes displayed when a field goal is scored. Mazzilli sent the ball racing through a narrow gap, lending a finishing touch to a move created by Edward Ockenden via a diagonal pass along the carpet.

Harte, under the bar at the other end of the pitch, chose to be proactive in the first quarter, moving up to thwart a Wizards move. Australian Ockenden’s pass to Mazilli put the custodian in trouble and the latter squeezed the ball through a gap over the goalline. Van Ass followed up and swept home but Mazzillo got the credit as the ball had rolled in by then.

Score: Dabang Mumbai HC 4 (Hamnapreet Singh 24 PC, 31 PC, Robert Kemperman 60 FG) bt Uttar Pradesh Wizards 3 (Augustin Mazzilli 13 FG, Ramandeep Singh 58 PC)