Hockey

Lancers post their first win

Kalinga Lancers goalkeeper Andrew Charter kicks away the ball to foil a Dabang Mumbai attack on Thursday. Photo: Lingaraj Panda

Kalinga Lancers goalkeeper Andrew Charter kicks away the ball to foil a Dabang Mumbai attack on Thursday. Photo: Lingaraj Panda  

Kalinga Lancers kept its cool and gave a better performance to register a come-from-behind 4-2 win over Dabang Mumbai in the Hockey India League (HIL) at the Kalinga Stadium here on Thursday.

Adam Dixon and Glenn Turner scored in the third and fourth quarters respectively to erase memories of the host’s disappointing loss to Uttar Pradesh Wizards in the opening match the other night.

Florian Fuchs’s goal had put Mumbai ahead early in the third period but the tourists could not sustain the pressure and went down fighting.

Guided by Moritz Fuerste and Aran Zalewski, Lancers pressed from the beginning and invaded the Mumbai citadel on several occasions. However, it could not get any breakthrough due to Mumbai’s compact defence, led by Matthew Swann and Jeremy Hayward. Besides, an agile and athletic David Harte under the bar also frustrated the Lancers’ forwards.

While Lancers tried to overcome their finishing issues, Mumbai continued to impress with its excellent structure. A surprise goal boosted Mumbai in the 35th minute. Gurjant Singh’s sharp top-of-the-circle reverse hit was blocked by Harte and an unmarked Fuchs tapped in the rebound to silence the noisy stadium.

Lancers never gave up despite failing to cash in on their second penalty corner. It required a precise cross from Malak Singh from the left and Dixon’s crisp shot to equalise at the stroke of the third break.

Mumbai, which could not benefit from its three short corners, started feeling the pressure. Sensing a chance, Lancers pushed hard and succeeded in getting the winner through a magnificent effort by the seasoned duo of Turner and Fuerste.

On a counter-attack, Turner sprinted up the right flank and had a quick exchange with Fuerste to beat the rock solid Harte and slot it in.

Lancers’ back line, aided by some good work from Amit Rohidas, held its nerve and its players up the field showed better ball control in the final minutes to earn crucial points.

“We were smarter near the attacking circle and created a lot of opportunities. We took the goalkeeper out of the game a little bit and opened up a bit of angle to shoot [the goals],” said Lancers coach Mark Hager.

The result: Kalinga Lancers 4 (Adam Dixon 2FG 45, Glenn Turner 2FG 51) bt Dabang Mumbai 2 (Florian Fuchs 2FG 35).

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 5:56:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/hockey/Lancers-post-their-first-win/article14012516.ece

Next Story