Ranchi Rays came back from a bitter loss in their previous game to clinch a remarkable 7-3 win over table toppers Dabang Mumbai in the Hockey India League in Ranchi on Thursday.
It was Jackson (5’ and 49’), Mohd Amir Khan (16’) and Imran Khan (57’) who ensured the home team earned five points from the match.
The clash between the hosts and Dabang Mumbai involved everything that makes for a top-class match with both teams attacking each other to ensure there was never a dull moment for the packed stadium.
The first quarter saw both teams get off to an enterprising start. It was Dabang Mumbai’s captain Florian Fuchs who came up with a superb goal in only the 2nd minute of play when he improvised a shot at goal after Kieran Govers assist. Ranchi Rays’ Jackson struck in the 5th minute to equalise and make it 2-2. It was a clever-thinking Manpreet Singh who made no mistake in finding Jackson, inside the circle, who made the goal look like a breeze with a perfect deflection that beat Mumbai’s experienced goalkeeper David Harte.
Ranchi Rays came back from the first break looking determined to put pressure on the visitors and they did just that when they took the lead in the 16th minute. It was Flynn Ogilvie who came up with an excellent run on the counter attack, showcasing brilliant dribbling skills. The 23-year-old Mohd Amir Khan kept up with his pace and a perfect pass by Ogilvie saw Amir put the ball past Harte with ease.
Though Ranchi Rays had an opportunity to make the score read 5-2 as they won their first PC in the 26th minute, the flick by Trent Mitton was well-saved by Harte.
The third quarter saw Dabang Mumbai earn a PC as early as two minutes into the quarter, but couldn’t quite convert the chance. It was in-form Harmanpreet Singh who was entrusted with the job but a poor injection saw him push the ball too far and wide.
The home team had to survive a few minutes with just nine players on the field giving Dabang Mumbai a chance to come back into the game. But they failed to capitalise, ending the quarter at 4-2 in favour of Ranchi Rays.
Ranchi Rays seemed to be in complete control of the game in the final quarter, putting pressure on the visitors, this time Simranjeet Singh dribbling into the circle only to find Deavin perfectly poised to strike. But instead they earned a penalty corner for the team when the strike found the foot of Dabang Mumbai defender. The home team was eventually awarded a penalty stroke in the 49th minute and Jackson made no mistake in converting.
Affan Yousuf put a goal past Tyler Lovell in the 51st minute taking the score to 5-3 when Harmanpreet Singh’s dragflick was converted.
Ranchi Rays continued to be dominant with another field goal in the 57th minute when Imran Khan put one past Harte after an assist by Sarvanjit Singh to make it 7-3.