Mohali, 26 January: Putting behind their last night’s defeat, Jaypee Punjab Warriors dished out a commendable performance to beat Dabur Mumbai Magicians 5-3 to register their first win in the second edition of the Hero Hockey India League (HHIL) in Mohali today.
Jaypee Punjab Warriors made a promising start to the encounter and created trouble for the Dabur Mumbai Magicians defense from the onset. Agustin Mazzilli put Jaypee Punjab Warriors ahead in the seventh minute by scoring from a rebound after young Affan Yousuf’s initial shot was saved by Mumbai goalkeeper PR Sreejesh.
Jaypee Punjab Warriors got a golden opportunity to extend their lead minutes later when they earned a penalty corner but they failed to utilize the chance.
Undeterred by the goal, the Dabur Mumbai Magicians outfit came back strongly and scored two goals within a span of three minutes to take the lead. First Mark Gleghorne (15th minute) converted a penalty corner and then Ravipal Singh (17th minute) scored a field goal to give Dabur Mumbai Magicians a 2-1 lead.
The Punjab side pressed hard for the equalizer in the second quarter and finally managed to get it in the 30th minute when Malak Singh scored with a field effort. But nine minutes later, Dabur Mumbai Magicians restored their lead through Vinaya Vakkaliga’s field strike.
But it was not to be Dabur Mumbai Magicians’ day as the Jaypee Punjab Warriors went all out thereafter and precisely converted three penalty corners to register their first win in the tournament.
Punjab’s star drag-flicker Sandeep Singh first converted a penalty corner in the 40th minute and then Australian Christopher Ciriello (47th) and Dharamvir Singh (67th) made use of two more set pieces to open Jaypee Punjab Warriors’ account in the points tally.
Jaypee Punjab Warriors, who had lost 1-3 to Delhi Waveriders in the tournament opener yesterday, secure five points from the win, while Dabur Mumbai Magicians garnered one point from the encounter.
Jaypee Punjab Warriors will next play debutants Kalinga Lancers in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday, while Dabur Mumbai Magicians will be up against Uttar Pradesh Wizards in Mumbai on Wednesday.
Jamie Dwyer, Captain of Jaypee Punjab Warriors said, “It was a great performance by the entire team and the win is a feel good factor. We were not able to win the last match against Delhi Waveriders but today the team played very well. Our attacks were good which put a lot of pressure on the opponent team. This coupled with great defence helped us sail through. Our aim is to play good hockey and aim to win every match we play.”
Barry Dancer, Coach, Jaypee Punjab Warriors said in the press conference, “We were quick with our passes. Scoring two penalty corners was very important part of the match. Going forward also we will try to further improve upon our penalty corner conversions. Today Sandeep and Christopher scored which means we are beginning to get the combination right. Gurmail was also outstanding today. I have lot of hope from the younger lot and am sure they will prove me right.”
PR Sreejesh, Captain, Dabur Mumbai Magicians said, “Our team played well but we did a few mistake during the game. Team was very week in converting the penalty corners and there was lack of coordination between the players. In our next match we will try improve upon these mistakes and will try to do our best.”
MK Kaushik, Coach, Dabur Mumbai Magicians was in a pensive mood. He said, “Team’s performance was not up to the mark. There were many lapses in the game and cross coordination was also missing. We need to be very focused in the future matches to ensure our wins.”