HIL: Lancers bounce back to beat Dabang Mumbai

Adam Dixon and Glenn Turner scored in the third and fourth quarters respectively to erase memories of the host's disappointing loss to Uttar Pradesh Wizards in the opening match the other night.

Kalinga Lancers bounced back after conceding an early goal to beat Mumbai.   -  PTI

Kalinga Lancers kept their cool to register a 4-2 win over Dabang Mumbai in the Hockey India League (HIL) at the Kalinga Stadium here on Thursday.

Adam Dixon and Glenn Turner scored in the third and fourth quarters respectively to erase memories of the host's disappointing loss to Uttar Pradesh Wizards in the opening match the other night.

Florian Fuchs' goal had put Mumbai ahead in the third period but the visitors could not sustain the pressure and went down fighting.

Guided by Moritz Fuerste and Aran Zalewski, Lancers pressed from the beginning and invaded the Mumbai citadel on several occasions. However, they could not find a breakthrough due to Mumbai's compact defence, led by Matthew Swann and Jeremy Hayward. Besides, an agile and athletic David Harte under the bar also frustrated the Lancers' forwards.

While Lancers tried to overcome their finishing issues, Mumbai continued to impress with their excellent structure. A surprise goal boosted Mumbai’s chances in the 35th minute. Gurjant Singh's sharp top-of-the-circle reverse hit was blocked by Harte and an unmarked Fuchs tapped in the rebound to silence the noisy stadium.

Lancers did not give up despite failing to convert their second penalty corner. It required a precise cross from Malak Singh from left and Dixon's crisp shot to equalise at the stroke of the third break.

Mumbai, which could not benefit from their three short corners, started feeling the pressure. Sensing a chance, Lancers pushed hard and succeeded in getting the winner through a magnificent effort by the seasoned duo of Turner and Fuerste.

Turner sprinted up the right flank and had a quick exchange with Fuerste to beat the rock solid Harte and slot it in.

Lancers' back line, aided by some good work from Amit Rohidas, held its nerve and showed better ball control in the final minutes to earn crucial points.

“We were smarter near the attacking circle and created a lot of opportunities. We took the goalkeeper out of the game a little bit and opened up a bit of angle to shoot (the goals),” said Lancers coach Mark Hager.

Result:-

Kalinga Lancers 4 (Adam Dixon 2FG 45, Glenn Turner 2FG 51) bt Dabang Mumbai 2 (Florian Fuchs 2FG 35).