Mumbai Marines registered a come-from-behind victory against local side Karnataka Lions and moved to the top of the table in the World Series Hockey (WSH) tournament at the KSHA Stadium on Thursday.
The Lions suffered a setback even before the start with injuries to skipper Arjun Halappa and key player Amar Aiyamma. The cohesion was missing in the absence of the delightful duo.
Jarnail Singh and Arjun Antil showed lot of pluck up front, but both were guilty of missing at least a sitter each.
With Dhanraj Pillay a pale shadow of his usual self and Ravipal having an off-day, the Lions thrust was missing.
But the Lions were lucky to go ahead with the very first penalty corner earned almost at the end of the first quarter. Len Aiyappa sounded the boards with a neat strike.
On one occasion, the home team stitched together a brilliant move but Adrian D'Souza, the former India goalkeeper, proved equal to the task.
The equaliser came after some scorching runs by G.M. Hariprasad and Troy Sutherland. After a barren second quarter, Devender Walmiki drew parity for the Marines in the 42nd minute with a stunning drag-flick and then Joga Singh (57th) scored the all-important winner in the final quarter of the match.
Mumbai Marines now has nine points from five encounters, while Karnataka Lions languishes at the bottom with just three points from five games.
Karnataka Lions plays its next home match on March 17.
The result: Mumbai Marines 2 (Devender Walmiki, Joga) bt Karnataka Lions 1 (Len Aiyappa).
Friday's matches: Chennai Cheetahs vs. Pune Strykers, Chennai, 7 p.m.; Bhopal Badshahs vs. Delhi Wizards, Bhopal, 9 p.m.