HIL 2016: Talwinder's late winner propels Delhi to the top
Image Courtesy: © HIL
For much of the game it seemed as if Dabang Mumbai will grab their first win over Delhi Wave Riders, and their first win this season, instead they went home with their third defeat in a row. A late field goal from Talwinder Singh gave Delhi a 4-3 win in Mumbai, as they went back to the top of the table.
Desperate for a win, Dabang Mumbai started the match on the front foot and looked the better team in the opening moments of the match. However, Delhi Wave Riders won a penalty corner against the run of play in the eighth minute, and Rupinder Pal Singh found the top corner of the net, to give Delhi a 1-0 lead.
Mumbai did not have to wait for long to reply though, as Florian Fuchs gave them the lead in the 12th minute. The German forward received a long pass from Harmanpreet at the edge of the circle. He took a couple of delicate touches to bring the ball inside the shooting range, before finding the bottom corner of the net, with a thunderous effort. The field goal gave Mumbai a 2-1 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Delhi pushed Mumbai back into their own half at the start of the second quarter. However, the home side held their own at the back and looked threatening on the counter-attack. 21-year-old forward Affan Yousuf, in particular, looked dangerous with his pace stretching the Delhi defence. Mumbai won a couple of penalty corners in the quarter, but Harmanpreet Singh failed to capitalize on any of them.
Delhi had 53% possession at that point, but it was Dabang Mumbai who had more circle penetrations (12 to 10) and more shots on goal (7 to 1) in comparison.
Delhi Wave Riders won a penalty corner in the ninth minute of the third quarter, and once again Rupinder Pal Singh stepped up to convert with a clinically placed drag flick. That goal brought back the parity in the match at 2-2, despite Delhi being the second best team at that point.
The goal gave Delhi a much-needed lift and they began to show a lot more intent in the attack. The visitors were unlucky to be denied from two back-to-back penalty corners, by two brilliant saves by David Harte in the Mumbai goal.
Both the teams battled hard for the winner in the fourth quarter, and Dabang Mumbai were handed a golden opportunity in the eighth minute of the fourth quarter. Fuchs won a penalty stroke for his team after deflecting a penalty corner onto the body of a Mumbai defender on the line. Harmanpreet found the back of the net from the spot, to give his team a 3-2 lead.
Delhi, however, responded quickly and in the 11th minute of the fourth quarter Talwinder Singh scored the a field goal, to provide the lead back to his side at 4-3. Mumbai threw everything they had in search of an equalizer, and they won a penalty corner with just 30 seconds left on the clock, but they failed to convert it as they went for a field goal, instead of going for a direct shot from the penalty corner.