Waveriders trounce Lancers, surge into the semifinals

Delhi Waveriders upped its game when it needed to the most, registering a 6-0 win over Kalinga Lancers in the final league game of the Coal India Hockey India League here on Wednesday.

The victory helped Waveriders book a semifinal spot, placing third on the table with 27 points, while Lancers, despite the defeat, managed to sneak into the last four with 25, level with Dabang Mumbai on points but with a healthier goal difference.

At a packed Shivaji Stadium that had more than a thousand people clogging the roads outside desperately trying to get in, Waveriders drew energy from the supporters, playing an attacking game to control the proceedings.

The teams took time to size each other up but once the hosts got the momentum in the second quarter, it did not let up.

Lancers, on the other hand, were unable to break the shackles and remained subdued throughout the game.

With its talismanic striker Glenn Turner rendered ineffective with at least two players marking him all the time, Lancers’ attack was reduced by half, and Waveriders took full advantage of the same despite the best efforts of captain Moritz Furste to create chances.

Capacity crowd as cheerleader

For the sceptics claiming it was difficult to market the sport or popularise the event at par with other sporting leagues in the country,

Wednesday’s game would have been an eye-opener. The 7,500 capacity stadium was packed to the rafters, with some even standing in the aisles.

The organisers claimed that the glass doors on one side of the stadium had been damaged by the crowd trying to get in. The last time such a crowd was seen at a hockey game in Delhi was way back in 2010 when India played host to the World Cup and the Commonwealth Games at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.

A penalty-corner in the 17th minute saw Rupinder Pal Singh put Waveriders ahead while another one at the other end towards the end of the second quarter saw Aran Zalewski’s shot gloved away by goalkeeper Devon Manchester.

Twin strikes

Another penalty-corner by Rupinder in the 33rd minute and a deflection in by Simon Child the next minute meant Waveriders were up 4-0 and thereafter it was all about Lancers struggling to keep the margin of defeat low.

Lancers did earn three more penalty-corners but were unable to find a way to put the ball past Manchester.

Pradeep Mor was brilliant with his runs down the flanks for Lancers but the forwards failed to utilise the opportunities even as the Waveriders defence marshalled by Iain Lewers and Vikram Pillay foiled every attempt.

The finishing touch was a one-two combination between Talwinder Singh and Parvinder Singh, the former drawing Lancers goalkeeper Andrew Charter out of position and the latter coolly slotting it into an open goal to make it 6-0.

The result:

Delhi Waveriders 6 (Parvinder Singh 2-FG, Simon Child 2-FG, Rupinder Pal Singh 2-PC) bt Kalinga Lancers 0.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 7:37:56 AM |

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