Delhi Wizards survive late onslaught from Mumbai Marines for a narrow 2-1 win
- Vikramjeet Singh (15th min) and Shakeel Abbasi (35th min) struck for Delhi Wizards
- Ajmir Singh scored for the losing Mumbai Marines in the 15th minute.
Stakes were high when Delhi Wizards met Mumbai Marines on Monday. With identical three wins and a draw after eight matches, both teams had ten points and were running neck to neck perched respectively in the sixth and seventh place in the points table.
Against the backdrop, both teams showed enough urgency to churn out another of excellent encounter that held the stands in rapture throughout the seventy minutes of game at Major Dhyan Chand National stadium.
Delhi Wizards, despite a stroke not surviving referral, survived many tense moments before sneaking through for a narrow but deserving 2-1 victory over the marauding but luckless Marines.
Troy Sutherland of Marines struck the equalizer a minute before the hooter, but it failed to convince the third umpire, and then Devinder Walmiki fetched a penalty corner at the stroke of hooter, which was wasted.
The great match had such twist and turns, befitting the severely competitive nature of the Bridgestone World Series Hockey. With this win, Delhi gained two positions in the points table.
After quite a few penetrations into the circle, and after Manjeet Kullu effected a goal save that frustrated the sharp shooting duo of Hariprasad and Devinder Walkiki, the Wizards went up.
Wingers Victo Singh and Gurvinder Singh rallied a sally into the circle, and were successful in getting their first penalty corner of which Vikramjeet Singh struck.
In the same minute, Joga Singh earned a return penalty corner after a burst into the D from right. Devinder took the drag flick only to be blocked by the charger, but Ajmer Singh, who was covering Devinder, tapped the rebound and whacked the ball into the right corner of the net with a whiplash of a shot. It was a fitting reply for the visitors, as they had missed couple of sitters in the initial moments.
It was captain Shakeel Abbasi who played a saviour role in seeing his side change sides with a goal advantage. Abbasi showed a clean pair of heels on the left flank, entered the D, and unleashed a parallel pass a minute before the half time. The ball rolled ferociously in front of the goal mouth. A harried Ajmir Singh tried to stop it on its flight, but saw it bounce off into the net much to his agony. Though just less than 30 seconds left in the clock, Marines called a time out, but on return conceded a penalty corner which too was wasted.
Marines earned a couple of penalty corners midway through third quarter, but Delhi’s goalie Kamaldeep Singh came out with his best to safeguard his cage.
Six minutes before the hooter, Shakeel had the mortification of getting yellow-card suspension as his side was found to have a member more on the field. Rajpal earned a dubious stroke with his solo and it rightly did not stand scrutiny.
Schedule for March 20:
Chandigarh Comets Vs Delhi Wizards at Sector 42 stadium, Chandigarh at 7 PM: Chennai Cheetahs Vs Bhopal Badshahs at Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium, Chennai, at 9 PM. Live on Neo Sports and Neo Cricket