Friday, January 31, 2014

Jaypee Punjab Warriors beat Delhi Waveriders 3-1, leapfrog to top of points table

Jaypee Punjab Warriors exacted sweet revenge for their 1-3 defeat to Delhi Waveriders in their tournament opener, as they humbled them by the same margin to leapfrog to the top of the points table in the 2nd Hero Hockey India League at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi.

Significantly, this was Warriors’ first ever win over Waveriders after a string of five defeats behind them. The Punjab outfit now have 16 points from four games.

Earlier, Jaypee Punjab Warriors wrested the early initiative going up 1-0 when drag-flicker Sandeep Singh made optimum use of their first penalty corner. Conceding an early goal was not something the home crowd would have bargained for at the start of the opening hooter. Delhi Waveriders were up against a stout Warriors defence, who were leaving nothing to chance.

The Waveriders forced their first short corner, but Rupinder Pal Singh could not profit from it. The last year’s runners-up pushed hard for the equalizer, but muffed up two short corners even as the Warriors looked determined to hang on to their solitary goal lead. Australian Matt Ghodes messed up two chances in the dying moments of the second quarter to further compound their woes.

The Warriors had an opportunity to double the lead off their second penalty corner in the third quarter, but Sandeep Singh slammed it wide. The Waveriders needed to go all out in the final quarter, but all their plans went awry when Satbir Singh made it 2-0 for the Warriors in the 64th minute off a Shivendra Singh pass.

Trailing 0-2 with six minutes to go, Rupinder Pal Singh finally it count with his PCs – rifling in one home to reduce the margin in the 65th minute. The Warriors put the issue beyond Waveriders when former Indian striker Shivendra Singh deflected home a nice pass from Simon Orchard in the 66th minute and then went on to flash his trademark salute. The Delhi forced back-to-back short corners at the death, but the Warriors defended them with aplomb to pave the way for a convincing 3-1 win.
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