Beat Jaypee Punjab Warriors by 3-1
Mohali, 25 January 2014: Australian Jason Wilson scored a brace as last year’s runners-up Delhi Waveriders defeated hosts Jaypee Punjab Warriors 3-1 in a hard-fought opening match to make a perfect start to their campaign at the second edition of the Hero Hockey India League (HHIL) at the newly-built International Hockey Stadium at Mohali today..
With this win the Sardar Singh-led Waveriders, last year’s most consistent team, have pocketed five points from the encounter, while Punjab Warriors secured one point despite the loss because as per the tournament rules a defeat with goal difference of two or less goals will give the losing side one point.
If the Delhi outfit had the better share of possession in the first quarter of 17-and-half minutes, Punjab Warriors had more goal scoring chances.
In the barren but keenly-contested opening quarter both the teams had couple of chances to go up, including one penalty corner each but failed to break the deadlock.
The Waveriders were slow to start with but gained in confidence as the match progressed.
The Delhi side made a bright start to the second quarter and took the lead in the 29th minute through young striker Talwinder Singh’s field goal from top of the opposition circle to stun the large number of home crowd present at the stadium.
But the Waveriders’ joy was short lived as Affan Yousuf (33rd minute) equalized for Punjab four minutes later Warriors by scoring from a goal-mouth melee.
Wilson restored Delhi’s lead in the 47th minute with another field strike from close range after he was set up by Akashdeep Singh.
Minutes later, Punjab Warriors got a penalty corner but their star drag-flicker was once again off the target.
Thereafter, Punjab Warriors pressed hard for the equalizer but the Waveriders defended stoutly to thwart any danger to their goal.
The Waveriders sealed in their favour when Wilson scored his second goal of the day just two minutes from the final hooter.
Elated at the win, Cedric D’souz, Coach of Delhi Waveriders said, “Overall performance of the team was fabulous. It was great team effort and entire team played well. Boys gave few soft corners in the game which we will try to eradicate in future. We will try to improve our defense and to keep putting pressure on the ball. It is the first match of the tournament and the team started on winning note. Now we will try to keep our team’s posture balanced since it is a small baby step toward final win.”
Sardar Singh, Captain of Delhi Waveriders said, “First game of every tournament is very significant for every team and we won it. It is a motivation booster for team. In the first half team was not very active but in the second half team came back in wonderful manner. Team did make a few mistakes in the game as we did not get enough time for practice. We will improve upon these mistakes in future and will try to keep this spirit up.”
Captain of Jaypee Punjab Warriors, Jamie Dwyer said, “We have to be much more focused. Some players lost focus today and we had to pay the price for it. We dominated in the first half today and were a better team. However, in the second half we were just not there. We have learnt from this match and we will improve upon our weak areas so that our win in subsequent matches is ensured.”
Barry Dancer, Coach of Jaypee Punjab Warriors said, “I am disappointed at the loss today. But, we are going to get better and better, game after game, that’s what the tournament is all about. We made vital errors. Our mistakes gave them an opportunity to score goals. We will analyse our mistakes today and make a turnaround. Sandeep Singh has the ability to make passes. He is world-class and I am sure he will score goals in coming matches.”
The Waveriders will next travel to Ranchi where they will face holders Ranchi Rhinos on Monday, while Punjab Warriors will host Dabur Mumbai Magicians at Mohali tomorrow.
In another match tomorrow, Ranchi Rhinos will host Uttar Pradesh Wizards.