HIL: Mumbai shock Ranchi to end losing streak

Making light of the red card shown to their forward Yousuf Affan at the fag end of the second quarter, Mumbai produced top-drawer stuff to stun Ranchi with a spirited display that stopped the visitor team's four-game winning streak.

Dabang Mumbai is still in last position with 9 points while Ranchi Rays remain on top with 22 points.   -  Special Arrangement

Dabang Mumbai brought down the champion Ranchi Rays on the road to recovery in CIL Hockey India League 2016. Captain Matthew Swann led the way with tireless running, netting one field goal and setting up Nilakanta Sharma for another in a rousing 7-5 victory.

Affan Yousuf went out with a red card for a foul, the home team played with a player short, Harmanpreet Singh missed a stroke, but all that did not matter.

Florian Fuchs dived to sweep home a Roshan Minza pass from the right for a thrilling goal. Diwakar Ram scored a penalty corner. Ranchi drew level at 3-3, kept chasing the ball in an attempt to catch up but was thwarted by the Mumbai team’s defence, especially in penalty corners. Ashley Jackson flicked in two goals from set pieces.

Lakra injured

Birender Lakra suffered a knee injury and will undergo a MRI.

Mumbai assumed dominance in the first quarter as has been the trend at the Mahindra stadium so far. Hamanpreet tried the direct route over the first two penalty corners attempts, then did a wristy switch off the third to Diwakar who sounded the board.

Ranchi drew level in the second quarter via skipper Jackson’s direct conversion, then came the first field goal by Swann. Gurjant Singh’s reverse hit pass rocketed through a crowd of legs towards the right post for the Australian to deflect in. Lakra’s absence in the defence was a big blow to the visitors. Ranchi then slipped in a field goal through Sarvanjit. Ranchi captain Jackson displayed his touch in drag flicks (4-3) before Dabang Mumbai discovered a hero in Nilakantha, who sounded the boards with a superb trap and flick.

Fuchs came up with a timely dive to sweep home his first goal (7-4), the creator being Minz on the right flank.

The scores: Dabang Mumbai 7 (Diwakar Ram, Matthew Swann 2 FG, Nilakantha Sharma 2 FG, Florian Fuchs 2 FG) bt Ranchi Rays 5 (Ashley Jackson 2, Sarvanjit Singh 2 FG, Sandeep Singh).

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