Mohali, 19 February 2015: A stunning game of hockey was witnessed by hockey enthusiast across India as Jaypee Punjab Warriors took on Dabang Mumbai at Mohali today in the last match of the pool phase before the League enters the semi-finals to be played on 21st February 2015. While Dabang Mumbai was leading the game 1-0 at half time, Jaypee Punjab Warriors came back into the game and beat the visiting team 3-2 to top the Pool Standings.
Just five minutes into the game Dabang Mumbai’s, Chinglensana Singh missed out on an opportunity to score the initial goal in the game as he gave enough time to Jaap Stockmann to stop the ball from going to the nets. With both teams looking at opening their account, just three minutes left in the first quarter, SV Sunil intelligently hit the ball at the foot of Jeremy Hayward in the D resulting in Japyee Punjab Warriors getting their first penalty corner. While Sandeep Singh hit hard, it was a good save by the Punjab goalie denying the home team a goal. Moments later Punjab had another opportunity at penalty corner and Gaganpreet Singh taking the flick this time missed as Vikram Pillay averted the danger by flicking the ball away. Going into the two minute break the score stood at 0-0.
Immediately into the second quarter, Nick Catlin scored the first goal for the team marking his first in the League as he hit the ball past Stockmann giving the goalie no chance to stop the goal. With this Dabang Mumbai opened the goal score for the day and was leading 1-0. The rest of the session saw Jaypee Punjab Warriors keeping the pressure on Mumbai by penetrating the circle and had many chances to convert but close misses resulted in Dabang Mumbai leading the game 1-0 at the end of first half.
Entering the second half of the game, Dabang Mumbai was immediately into business as Timothy Deavin charged into the D with the ball, hit towards the nets but Jaap Stockmann saved and Sandeep Singh cleared the ball. Jaypee Punjab Warriors got another penalty corner and Sandeep again tried to get the ball to the nets but was unfortunate as the ball found the bar much to the relief of Dabang Mumbai. Punjab finally got the equaliser in the 37th minute when Sandeep Singh hit the ball at the D to Jake Whetton who slapped the ball into the nets giving David Harte no chance to stop. The goal was the 125th goal of Hero Hockey India League 2015.
Jaypee Punjab Warriors finally took the lead in the game when they got a Penalty Stroke in the 44th minute as Gurmail Singh charging into the D had his stick stopped by Tom Boon. Sandeep Singh taking the Strike ensured he didn’t miss and took the score 2-1.
Dabang Mumbai was looking at equalizing the game, just minutes into the last quarter. Bharat superbly hit at the goal, beating Jaap Stockmann but unfortunately the ball hit the post much to the dismay of the team. Dabang Mumbai got their first penalty corner of the game in the 53rd minute and the young and dangerous Harmanpreet Singh had no problem in hitting it past the world’s best goalkeeper Jaap Stockmann beating him completely. This marked Dabang Mumbai equalizing the game 2-2 and Harmanpreet Singh adding the 5th goal to his personal tally in the League. The last few minutes saw the game increasing momentum as both teams were looking at scoring one more and winning the match.
57th minute and Dabang Mumbai got another penalty corner but this time Harmanpreet Singh could not control the ball and failed to capitalize. It was in the 59th minute when Jaypee Punjab Warriors finally took the lead 3-2, as good stick work and seamless passes between Jamie Dywer and Simon Orchard finally saw Orchard passing the ball to Kieran Govers who effortlessly hit the nets beating David Harte. With this goal the home team won over Dabang Mumbai 3-2 as the last match in the pool phase culminated.
Man of the Match Jake Whetton, Jaypee Punjab Warriors said “I would have loved scoring a few more goals. Hopefully will score against Delhi Waveriders in the semi-finals. I am in form and it is nice to score goals and I hope I carry it in the semi-finals and finals. We are looking forward to the game on Saturday.”
Speaking on the match today, Valentin Altenburg, Head Coach, Dabang Mumbai said “We played well but bad luck. Jeremy Hayward played really well and had an impressive performance today. We started well again, but we lost the game in the last quarter. We were unfortunate and missed out on many opportunities”.
Hero Goal of the Match – Nick Catlin, Dabang Mumbai
Man of the Match – Jake Whetton, Jaypee Punjab Warriors
Semi-Finals – February 21, 2015, New Delhi
Semi-Final 1 – 16:30hrs IST – Jaypee Punjab Warriors VS Delhi Waveriders
Semi Final 2 – 19:00hrs IST – Ranchi Rays VS Uttar Pradesh Wizards.