New Delhi, 15 February 2015: Playing against Kalinga Lancers, the Delhi Waveriders was looking at getting into the wining momentum before they entered the all crucial stage of the Hero Hockey India League. However, it was Kalinga Lancers who kept their nerves and beat the home team 2-1. Delhi Waveriders position in the knock-out stage however is already cemented as Dabang Mumbai lost its must win match against Uttar Pradesh Wizards at Lucknow in the afternoon.
The first quarter was almost dominated by Delhi Waveriders where they put pressure on the opponents with maximum ball possession and attacked the D of Kalinga Lancers. In the 13th minute a brilliant pass by Jason Wilson to Lloyd Norris Jones was missed by a whisker as the ball hit wide of the goal. Two minutes left for the quarter to end Kalinga Lancers was awarded the first penalty corner of the day. Taken by Gurjinder Singh, he hit straight at the Delhi Goalie who had no problem in clearing the danger. At the end of the quarter both teams were unable to open their accounts and the scorecard stood at 0-0.
The second session saw the gears changing as Kalinga Lancers attacked equally and both team kept the pressure on each other. Minutes away from the second half Delhi Waveriders bagged their first penalty corner of the match but missed the opportunity. The next minute Delhi was again rewarded another short corner and was taken by Andrew Hayward. He effortlessly put the ball past Andrew Charter and this opened the scorecard 1-0 with Delhi leading at the end of first half.
In the 39th minute Kalinga Lancers got another penalty corner in their name. With Gurjinder Singh not in the field it was on Glenn Simpson who was to see his team through to the equalizer goal. But Vickram Kanth was unable to stop the ball cleanly and the team lost the chance to score. The next minute, a miss-pass between the Delhi players in their half was pounced on by Aron Zalewski. Clearly beating the defence and the goalkeeper Aron scored a brilliant field goal helping his team to open their account and level the score at 1-1.
Post their first goal, Kalinga high on confidence capitalized in the 49th minute. The team scored when a clean pass to Russell Ford standing in the D made no mistake in hitting it past the Delhi goalkeeper and taking the score to 2-1. This helped Kalinga to take the lead in the game against the Waveriders. For the first time on the back foot in the game, Delhi Waveriders started looking at taking control of the game by increasing the tempo of their attack. Minutes away from the final whistle, Delhi Waveriders had a chance to equalise through a penalty corner but Andrew Hayward was unable to hit it past the goalkeeper. This ended the game with Kalinga Lancers winning the game 2-1 against Delhi Waveriders.
Post the match, Cedric D’Souza, Head Coach, Delhi Waveriders said, “Today’s match was a tale of missed chances and defensive errors. A lot of opportunities were missed during the match because of communication gap between the boys. The boys attained a lot of opportunities and had a lot of circle penetrations to their name, but missed putting the ball in the net. This is something we need to work on before we enter the knock-out stage”
Speaking on the team’s performance Jude Felix, Head Coach, Kalinga Lancers said “We started the tournament on a high and we ended it on a high note. The boys have been consistent all through the League, just that we have been unlucky to close the games in our favour. We also missed Gurjinder who has been sitting out for couple of matches. Though no cribs against the verdict but yes it affected us on the field.”
Hero Goal of the Match – Aron Zalewski (Kalinga Lancers)
Man of the Match – Aron Zalewski (Kalinga Lancers)
17 February 2015, 19.00hrs IST – Jaypee Punjab Warriors vs Ranchi Rays (Mohali)