Punjab Warriors stay in contention after 5-2 win over Waveriders

Delhi struggled to get its act right for the second consecutive day. Wayward in the attack and porous in defence, the host was always playing catch up even as Punjab attacked early on.

Mark Knowles struck in a rebound to double the lead after Jasjit Singh Kular's penalty corner came off the post   -  R. V. Moorthy

Jaypee Punjab Warriors avenged its defeat at home to Delhi Waveriders with a 5-2 victory here on Tuesday even as the team's fortunes continued to follow a pattern of alternate wins and losses in the fourth edition of the Hockey India League so far.

The host, on the other hand, struggled to get its act right for the second consecutive day. Wayward in the attack and porous in defence, the Delhi side was always playing catch up even as Punjab was on the attack early on.

Its first real chance came as early in the sixth minute when S. V. Sunil made a solo run all along the length of the field but failed to stop in time and lost control inside the striking circle. Punjab pressed hard constantly to put Delhi on the backfoot. Surender Kumar and Vickram Kanth both did their best to thwart Punjab's challenge but with at least five Punjab players crowding the opposition’s 25-yard area on most occasions, it wasn't easy for the duo.

The visitors took a lead after Mark Gleghorne converted a penalty corner. A couple of minutes later, Mark Knowles struck in a rebound to double the lead after Jasjit Singh Kular's penalty corner came off the post. By the time Delhi got a grip, it was already down by two goals.

The host tried to claw its way back but with Sardar Singh and the Australian trio of Matthew Gohdes, Simon Orchard and Mark Knowles forming the midfield link, Punjab had the ball for most of the time.

Another penalty corner in the 22nd minute saw Punjab stretching the lead to 3-0 before Rupinder Pal Singh got one of his own to open the Waveriders’ account. Two minutes later, though, Jake Whetton's brilliant deflection off a long cross ended Delhi’s hopes. Another penalty corner in the 55th minute reduced the margin for Delhi but it couldn’t earn a point.

Delhi captain Simon Child also felt aggrieved by two field goals that were disallowed on referral but Punjab's overall superiority was evident. For Delhi, the biggest find would have to be Surender Kumar in the defence. Despite staying under the radar in the presence of bigger stars, the 22-year-old has been the reason for Delhi not conceding more goals in the competition.

The result put Punjab level on 17 points with Delhi with a game in hand.

Result:-

Jaypee Punjab Warriors 5 (Jake Whetton 2 FG, Mark Gleghorne PC, Mark Knowles PC, Christopher Chiriello PC) bt Delhi Waveriders 2 (Rupinder Pal Singh 2).

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