It was disappointing day for Delhi Waveriders as they lost their home match 1-2 (2-3 on points) to Dabang Mumbai in the Hockey India League here at the Shivaji Stadium on Wednesday.
Waveriders had almost sealed the match --- they were leading 2-1 on points --- but a late goal by Mumbai skipper Florian Fuchs in the 60th minute made the difference. For each field goal, a team is awarded two points while one point is given for penalty-corner conversion.
League leaders Mumbai shot into the lead in the 24th minute when Kieran Govers converted a penalty corner, but Waveriders came back in the 44th minute as Mandeep Singh scored a field goal.
Though rhe Mumbai outfit has already made it to the knockout stage, it was a do-or-die situation for Waveriders as they are placed fifth on the points tally. In the league featuring six teams, top four make it to the knockout stage.
The Waveriders had won their last two home games and began the match on a positive note. They could have shot into lead in the first quarter but Rupinder Pal Singh failed to convert a penalty corner. In fact, the Waveriders squandered seven penalty corners.
Besides Rupinder, Santa Singh also missed a field goal in the first quarter. In the second quarter, Waveriders tried hard for a goal but Mumbai goalkeeper David Harte made some good saves under the bar. However, on the counter, Mumbai was awarded a penalty corner in the 24th minute and Govers made no mistake.
After change of ends, Waveriders took control of the game but the all-important goal eluded them. However, the hosts got a break in the third quarter when Mandeep Singh’s reverse hit from close went past the goalkeeper to make it 2-1 (on points).
Despite dominating, the Waveriders weren’t able to further improve their scoreline as Rupinder struggled to convert penalty corners at crucial junctures.
Unexpectedly, with just 25 seconds left Fuchs’ field goal made it 3-2 (on points).