It was sweet revenge for Jaypee Punjab Warriors, which recorded a 3-1 away win over Delhi Waveriders at the National Stadium here on Friday to top the table in the Hockey India League season two. After four matches, Warriors have 16 points.
Having suffered a 3-1 loss in the league opener to Waveriders at home, Warriors were cautious of not giving away any easy chances to their rival.
In the company of Mark Knowles, Rob Hammond and Christopher Ciriello, Sandeep Singh improved his performance a few notches and executed some good clearances. The seasoned drag-flicker delivered a low and accurate shot to the left corner to convert Warriors’ first penalty corner in the eighth minute.
With the help of the swiftly moving Matt Ghodes and Talwinder Singh, Waveriders conducted some surprise raids from the left. Right-half Gurbaj Singh also initiated some fine moves from the right.
The host earned three short corners in the first 35 minutes, but Jaap Stockmann shone with his brilliant reflexes and superb athleticism to blunt Rupinderpal Singh’s precise flicks.
Waveriders could have equalised before the change of ends had a sliding Ghodes not failed to connect a measured cross from Rajpal Singh from the right.
Warriors maintained pressure and crafted some dangerous plots in the third quarter. However, their strikers could not extend the lead as the home defence was successful in protecting its citadel.
Waveriders relied on their trusted linkmen Sardar Singh and Arjun Halappa to try out some variations in distribution. However, Warriors not only presented a stubborn face, but also retaliated strongly.
An unmarked Satbir Singh slotted home the crucial second goal in the 64th minute. Rupinderpal reduced the margin a minute later, but Warriors held their nerve to make it 3-1 through Shivendra Singh.
The result: Jaypee Punjab Warriors 3 (Sandeep Singh 8, Satbir Singh 64, Shivendra Singh 65) bt Delhi Waveriders 1 (Rupinderpal Singh 65).