Bhubaneswar, Feb.6 (ANI):Dabang Mumbai took one step closer to the semi-finals of the ongoing Hockey India League ( HIL) after clinching a sensational 5-2 win over Kalinga Lancers here last evening.
While the win ensured Dabang Mumbai climbed to the top of the table once again, Lancers are now pushed to the second spot.
It was goals by Harmanpreet Singh (23′), Florian Fuchs (31′) and Gurjant Singh (53′) that fetched the visitors five points.
The game between home team Kalinga Lancers and Dabang Mumbai was nothing short a battle of supremacy as both teams vied to earn the top slot on the points table.
While Kalinga Lancers toppled Dabang Mumbai after their previous win against Jaypee Punjab Warriors, Dabang Mumbai were playing this game after two successive loses.
The first quarter featured nail-biting action and high tempo as Dabang Mumbai ensured they kept danger man Glenn Turner at bay, with at least three men marking him, making sure an entry into their circle was restricted. Dabang Mumbai did well in earning the game’s first penalty corner in the 9th minute but was ably blocked away by Kalinga Lancers keeper Andrew Charter. The home team earned three back-to-back penalty corners too after a series of fouls within the circle, but skipper Moritz Fuerste was slightly off the mark today and the two teams went into the first break in a stalemate.
A great chance to take a 2-0 lead was lost by Kalinga Lancers in the 19th minute when midfielder Dharamvir Singh failed to convert after a brilliant assist by Glenn Turner. His tap was blocked by David Harte. However, Dabang Mumbai unlike their nemesis ensured they didn’t let go of the chances earned when Harmanpreet Singh was inch-perfect when he successfully converted a penalty corner in the 23rd minute to fetch his team a 1-0 lead over the home team. This was the in-form 21-year-old drag flicker’s seventh goal of the season.
Skipper Florian Fuchs starred in the third quarter for Dabang Mumbai when he beat Kalinga Lancers’ defenders in the circle to earn a boisterous field goal only a minute into the second half taking their lead to a comfortable 3-0. The visitors kept up the pressure on Kalinga Lancers, dominating this quarter with the ball possession and they did well in defending the lead.
Kalinga Lancers made desperate attempts to come back into the game in the last quarter, making forays into the circle but couldn’t quite make much of the chances. However, in the 51st minute they earned their fourth penalty corner of the game. But to the disappointment of the home crowd, they failed to convert it yet again this time trying a different variation attempting to score a field goal from the opportunity.
The visitors dented any chances of a comeback from Kalinga Lancers when Gurjant Singh, who played a vital role in the Junior World Cup, struck a fantastic field goal in the 53rd minute after an improvised assist by Affan Yousuf who made no mistake in trapping the ball from Manpreet in the midfield. This took Dabang Mumbai’s score to dominant 5-0.
Though Glenn Turner scored a field goal in the 57th minute making him the leading goal scorer with 10 goals in the league, it was not enough to stop Dabang Mumbai from winning their place on top of the table again.
The next game will be played between Delhi Waveriders and defending champions Jaypee Punjab Warriors on Tuesday.