HIL: Delhi beat Punjab
Drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh pumped in two goals via penalty corners as Delhi Waveriders opened their campaign with a 5-4 victory over Jaypee Punjab Warriors in a closely contested Hockey India League match here on Wednesday.
Rupinder struck in the 24th and 36th minutes while Canadian Mark Pearson scored from another penalty corner in the 28th minute after Yuvraj Walmiki had given Waveriders the lead in the ninth minute via a field goal, which was counted as two goals under the new tournament rules. For the Warriors, Matthew Gohdes scored a field goal in the 10th minute before Christopher Ciriello and Mark Gleghorne (54th) found the target from penalty corners.
The Warriors had beaten defending champions Ranchi Rays in their campaign opener here on Tuesday. Waveriders were playing their first match of the tournament on Wednesday. The Delhi-based team took the lead in the ninth minute through a brilliant reverse hit from Walmiki but the home side struck back in the next minute through a Gohdes’ field goal as both sides ended the first quarter equally balanced at 2-2.
But after that, the Waveriders never allowed their opponents to dominate the match and the Warriors had to play catch-up in front of their home crowd. The Waveriders got a penalty corner in the 24th minute after some end-to-end hockey in the second quarter and Rupinder stepped up to convert it with a beautiful drag-flick and give his side the lead again.