Dabang Mumbai advance to HIL semifinals after close win

By: PTI | New Delhi |

Published:February 16, 2017 1:09 am

HIL, Indian Hockey league, HIL semi finals, HIL semis, Dabang Mumbai, Dabang Mumbai HIL, Dabang Mumbai vs Delhi waveriders, sports news, indian express news Dabang Mumbai advances to the semifinals of the fifth edition of Hockey India League (Source: HIL) 

Dabang Mumbai rode on skipper Florian Fuchs’ last-minute field goal to eke out a close 3-2 win over Delhi Waveriders and seal their place in the semifinals of the fifth edition of Hockey India League at the Shivaji Stadium in New Delhi on Wednesday. German Fuchs (60th minute) struck from a field effort just at the stroke of regulation time to continue Dabang Mumbai’s impressive run in the tournament.

Earlier, Australian Kieran Govers gave Dabang Mumbai the lead by converting their first penalty corner in the 24th minute before forward Mandeep Singh scored from a field strike in the 44th minute. By virtue of this win, Dabang Mumbai have consolidated their position at the top of the standings with 33 points from nine games, while the Waveriders are languishing at the lower half of the table with 17 points from seven matches.

While Dabang Mumbai have one game left in their kitty ahead of the knockout stage of the tournament, the Waveriders cannot afford a slip in their remaining three games to stay in hunt for a semifinal spot. Having virtually assured of a place in the semifinals before Wednesday’s encounter, there was hardly any pressure on Dabang Mumbai and the visitors expectedly started on a promising note, building up some good moves but without any success.

The Waveriders, on the other hand, were slow to get off the blocks but improved their game as the match progressed. The first real scoring chance of the match went to Dabang Mumbai, in the fifth minute, but Manpreet’s reverse hit from top of the D was kept away by Waveriders goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch. After the initial hiccups, the hosts created some good chances and managed to secure two penalty corners but both went wasted.

While skipper Rupinder Pal Singh’s try from the first set piece was saved by Mumbai custodian David Harte, Santa Singh failed to stop the push from their second penalty corner. Dabang Mumbai finally tasted success in the second quarter when Govers converted their first penalty corner with a low flick.

There were chances galore for the Waveriders as the hosts secured three more penalty corners in the second quarter but failed to convert a single one. A minute from half time, Parvinder Singh shot over Dabang Mumbai’s post as Waveriders went into the breather trailing by a goal.