– Outplayed the hosts by 3-1
New Delhi, 30 January 2015: After a hard-fought tussle with the host team, last year HHIL finalists Jaypee Punjab Warriors outplayed defending champions Delhi Waveriders by 3-1 in the 10th league match of Hero Hockey India League 2015, played at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, New Delhi today. Winning two matches and drawing one tie, the Jamie Dwyer-led Jaypee Punjab Warriors clinched the match after a spirited action-packed game against their arch-rivals Delhi Waveriders in front of a cheering crowd.
It was forward player Akashdeep Singh, who opened the account for Delhi Waveriders in the third minute of the match when he, along with his team-mate New Zealand forward Simon Child, were charging the defenders from both sides of the ground. Akashdeep received a long pass from the New Zealand defender Andrew Hayward to his left and he dribbled-past a few defenders before hitting the ball hard into the box without giving any chance to Jaypee Punjab Warriors’ Dutch goalkeeper Jaap Stockman. Displaying excellent teamwork, both helped the Delhi team to take the lead by 1-0 and putting pressure on their opponents early in the match. Conceding the first goal, Jaypee Punjab Warriors counter-attacked in the opponents’ half but failed to beat the defenders and the score remained 1-0 in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, forward duo Akasdeep and Simon along with Delhi Waveriders’ midfielders Gurbaj Singh and captain Sardar Singh continuously attacked in the opponents half and kept the ball possession in their side. Jaypee Punjab Warriors got the only chance to level the score when Punjab’s forward player SV Sunil and Delhi’s goalkeeper Rassie Pieterse tussled with each other for the ball at the goal-mouth and Malak Singh, standing right near to SV Sunil, received the ball and hit a goal. However, the goal was not counted due to technical faults from the Jaypee Punjab Warriors side and the score stood 1-0 after the second quarter.
In the third quarter, both Delhi Waveriders and Jaypee Punjab Warriors contested harder and maintained their aggressive game but both the team failed to break the opponents defence line. Delhi-team continued their charge from all sides with new strategies but most of their shots were thwarted by Jaypee Punjab Warriors’ world-class goal-keeper Jaap Stockman. On the other side, Jaypee Punjab Warriors’ team failed to take advantage of their strong defence line as their attacks showed lack of team-work among their forward players.
The fourth quarter saw the maximum action where Jaypee Punjab Warriors clinched the match from the jaws of Delhi Waveriders. Stepping on the turf with better strategies, Jaypee Punjab Warriors managed to earn a penalty corner in the 50th minute and Australian penalty corner specialist Christopher Ciriello tactfully converted the opportunity in a hard-hitting goal to level the score 1-1. The equaliser brought back the motivation in the visitors and they continued with their strategy of surprise counter-attacks.
After four minutes, Jaypee Punjab Warriors SV Sunil scored one of the best goals of the Hero HIL 2015, when he smashed a shot, received from his teammate from the other side of the goal, in the box within a fraction of a second and gave a spirited lead of 2-1 to his team. The goal energise the Punjab team and they were determined not to look back from here. After conceding two goals in four minutes, Delhi Waveriders lost their ground and could not recover from the back-to-back jolts.
Following the goals, Jaypee Punjab Warriors kept attacking in the opponents half and tried to create more chances to score. In the 56th minute, their forward line charged towards the goal box and receiving a pass from his team-mate, forward player Affan Yousuf directed the ball into the net, giving an impossible lead of 3-1. With the third goal, Jaypee Punjab Warriors were just waiting for the final whistle to express their joy of winning the match and beating Delhi Waveriders on their home turf by 3-1.
Jaypee Punjab Warriors clinched 5 points to remain at the top position in the points-table with 17 points. Delhi Waveriders remained at the bottom of the league with 5 points.
Speaking after the win, ‘Man of the Match’ Jaap Stockman of Jaypee Punjab Warriors said, “We played well and the last quarter of the match was the turning point for us. We put our game-plan in place for the last quarter and we came back successfully to win the match. Our defence was weak initially and we came together to ensure that Delhi Waveriders did not get a chance to score.”
Cedric D’Souza, Head Coach, Delhi Waveriders said, “We lost the match in the last 10 minutes. Our defence did not play as they should have done. We need to work on that and come back. Jaypee Punjab Warriors’ goalkeeper Jaap Stockman played a fantastic game today. We need to put a plan in place for such situations and I am sure Jaap will come back with a plan too.”
Speaking after the match, Captain Sardar Singh, Delhi Waveriders said, “We need to work on our finishing. We started off well but we did mistakes and will work on it. There are many loopholes in our strategies that have come out of this match. This year all teams have the best talents, coaches are strong with different strategies, which is resulting in such pressure packed hockey. But we are enjoying this pressure and the matches being played. There are many matches left and we will come back.”
Hero Goal of the Match: SV Sunil, Jaypee Punjab Warriors
Man of the Match: Jaap Stockman, Jaypee Punjab Warriors
January 31, 2015, 1900 hrs IST – Kalinga Lancers vs Uttar Pradesh Wizards in Bhubaneswar.