The attractive settings suited the festive mood and Delhi Waveriders rode on Jason Wilson’s brace to overcome a solid Jaypee Punjab Warriors 3-1 in an engrossing match to collect the first points of the Hero Hockey India League (HIL) Season II at the newly-built International Hockey Stadium here on Saturday.
Before the start of the league, Warriors had made its intentions clear. It kept its promise by resorting to precise passing and making several sound raids to the Waveriders post in the first quarter.
The foundation of Warriors’ domination was its superb control over the ball.
The host narrowly missed the target on a couple of occasions. A seventh minute penalty corner attempt by Sandeep Singh was deflected away from a defender’s stick, while Augustin Mazzilli’s cross from left went wide from Shivendra Singh.
Waveriders defenders, led by Andres Mir Bel, Tristan White and Rupinderpal Singh, kept their cool and moved well to guard their post.
Waveriders got two short corners on either side of the first break, but Rupinderpal could not make it count.
Waveriders added pace to its forward line in the second quarter and Talwinder Singh capped a coordinated effort to give Waveriders the crucial lead.
However, Warriors restored parity soon when Affan Yousuf’s swift strike beat Waveriders’ goalkeeper Hamish McGreger about two minutes before half-time. This goal apart it turned out to be a fine day for McGreger.
Akashdeep orchestrated Waveriders’ second goal. He dribbled past a few rival defenders from the left and fed an unmarked Jason Wilson to complete the formalities.
Waveriders maintained patience and retained its controlled over the game. Aussie import Wilson again appeared from nowhere to utilize another opportune moment in the Punjab circle to slot home the third one.
Warriors spoiled a chance to close the gap when it failed to convert a penalty corner in the dying minutes.
The result: Delhi Waveriders 3 (Talwinder Singh 29, Jason Wilson 47, 68) bt Jaypee Punjab Warriors 1 (Affan Yousuf 33). Man-of-the-match: Hamish McGreger.