Mumbai Magicians held defending champion Ranchi Rhinos 1-1 at the latter’s home — the Astroturf Hockey Stadium — to reverse a sequence of losses in the Hockey India League here on Tuesday.
Ranchi Rhinos went ahead in the 52nd through a penalty corner conversion by South African drag-flicker Justin Reid Ross before the Magicians restored parity through Australian Trent Mitton in the 58th.
The first half remained barren as the two teams frittered away ample scoring opportunities. Looking for its first win of the tournament after suffering three successive losses, the Mumbai team attacked right from the start.
Led by captain Australian Glenn Turner, it controlled the midfield well and opened up the Rhinos’ otherwise compact defence on a few occasions. Prabhjot Singh almost capitalised on the initial dominance of the Magicians but his shot hit one of the uprights.
The Rhinos encountered a similar fate as its drag-flick expert, Englishman Ashley Jackson, saw his effort coming off the goalpost in the home team’s first penalty corner of the match in the 13th minute.
The match came alive in the third quarter when Rhinos attacked more. Man-of-the-match and Magicians’ Irish goalkeeper David Harte saved a great effort from Rhinos captain Moritz Fruste in the 40th minute to begin a sequence of good saves. The best from Harte came in the 61st minute when he saved a penalty stroke taken by Jackson.
The result: Ranchi Rhinos 1 (Justin Reid Ross 52) drew with Mumbai Magicians 1 (Trent Mitton 58).