Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Delhi Waveriders ride on late Akashdeep goal to beat Ranchi Rhinos in needle contest

Delhi Waveriders rode on a late goal by Akashdeep Singh to put it across Ranchi Rhinos to glean full points in the 2nd Hero Hockey India League at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi. Earlier, it was the Rhinos who had the better of the early exchanges creating as many as four circle penetrations in the opening quarter, but goals eluded them.

The Rhinos forced their first penalty corner in the second quarter but failed to profit from it as both teams went into half-time goalless. The Waveriders came close to scoring through Talwinder Singh and New Zealander Simon Child, but Rhinos’ Spanish goalie Francesco Cortes kept his side on an even kneel with two solid saves in the third quarter.

The Rhinos were not in no mood to witness one-way traffic – the Gregg Clarke’s boys earned back-to-back PCs in the third quarter, but Nicolas Jacobi foiled their efforts. The fourth quarter had the trappings of extreme excitement with both teams in pursuit of the match-winner. And it was the Waveriders, who broke the logjam when Akashdeep Singh rattled the Rhinos’ cage in the 65th minute.

The Rhinos had five minutes to draw level and had an opportunity when they won a PC in the 68th minute, but Moritz Fuertse’s flick was blocked by Nicolas Jacobi even as Delhi scampered home with a narrow win.

The Waveriders are firmly perched on top of the points table with 34 points from 9 games, while the Rhinos are placed third with 24 points from 7 matches.

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