Ranchi, 26 January 2015: An action packed match played between Ranchi Rays and Delhi Waveriders in the 3rd edition of the Hero Hockey India League today at Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Ranchi, concluded with a draw at 2-2.
The first half of the match saw some remarkable skills from the Delhi Waveriders’ clan as Akashdeep Singh was seen dribbling his way into the Ranchi Rays’ D, beating the defenders and the goalkeeper and pierced in a dramatic field goal, giving Delhi Waveriders a head start in the match by 1-0 as early as the third minute of the game itself.
Though the ball possession rate was dominated by the Ranchi Rays, but the team failed to convert any opportunities in the first quarter.
The second half of the match witnessed some excellent attacks and counter-attacks by both Ranchi Rays and Delhi Waveriders but the defence line-up pulled off a better show for both the teams by restricting each other from doing any damage. Delhi Waveriders secured three back to back penalty corner opportunities. While they failed in converting the first two, Delhi Waveriders’ Danish Mujtaba fired in the third penalty corner as a rebound shot and helped the team take the lead to 2-0 in the game. Ranchi Rays made a comeback with the help of Nick Budgeon, when he perfectly converted a penalty corner in the 28th minute of the game and reduced the goal’s margin to 2-1.
In the third quarter of the match, both the teams were seen carefully taking the game ahead for the first four minutes of the quarter. Home team Ranchi Rays got back into the game when Mandeep Singh sneaked his way into the Delhi Waveriders’ defence area and flicked in a field goal in the 35th minute to level the scores with the visiting team at 2-2.
Both Ranchi Rays and Delhi Waveriders restricted each from scoring any further goals and the scoreboard saw a tie at 2-2 by the end of the third quarter.
The fourth quarter of the match witnessed the best of the defence line-up from both Delhi Waveriders and Ranchi Rays as the aggressive attacking spree from both the clans was efficiently tackled at their respective skilful defence line-up. As both the teams struggled hard to make the break-through and claim the match with a win, the game was concluded at a 2-2 draw.
Speaking on the team’s performance, Ranchi Rays’ Head Coach Harendra Singh said, “I congratulate my team for creating a number of chances in this match. The team played in a very coordinated manner and there was total teamwork on the field. Going forward from here, our strategies will be similar to what we played in the last quarter of this match today.”
Speaking on the match, Ranchi Rays’ Captain Ashley Jackson said, “In this game, we got a lot of opportunities compared to the previous matches in the Hero HIL 2015. This is an excellent development for our team’s point of view. Now, we will now look at improving our conversation rate to score more goals in our upcoming matches.”
Speaking on the draw, Head Coach Cedric D’Souza of Delhi Waveriders said, “The team was in a defensive mode in the last two quarters of the match. We gave space to the opponents and got punished. Our team needs to be more patient and we will work on this weakness. Ranchi Rays played very well and they deserve more wins in the league.”
Speaking after the match, Delhi Waveriders’ Captain Sardar Singh said,“We started well but became bit defensive in the last two quarters of the match, which gave the opponents a better opening. We need to work on this and tighten our attack, so that our passes are more accurate.”
Hero Goal of the Match – Mandeep Singh (Ranchi Rays)
Man of the Match – Birendra Lakra (Ranchi Rays)