Gurjinder Singh's successful penalty corner conversion gave Kalinga Lancers a 1-0 victory over Delhi Waveriders in their opening match of the Coal India Hockey India League (HIL) at the Kalinga Stadium here on Sunday.
The home crowd had to wait until the 47th minute for the opening goal as Gurjinder blasted the penalty corner chance to the right top corner of Delhi goalkeepr Vincent Vanasch's goal to make it 1-0.
Former champions Delhi got as many as six penalty corners but were not able to convert them as Rupinder Pal Singh and his team had a day of missed opportunities.
Last edition's runners-up Kalinga looked the better of the two at the beginning as far as the team coordination and cohesion is concerned but Delhi had the first potent opportunity to score.
Mandeep Singh found a ball with some space but he took time to shoot, allowing Kalinga defender to close the space down and forced his shot to go wayward in the 10th minute.
Three minutes later, Kalinga's cohesion seemed to have clicked in the 13th minute when Dutch playmaker Billy Bakker played a one-two with Glenn Turner to set up beautifully from the baseline but Dharamvir Singh's touch was heavy as the ball soared into the stands. Delhi, playing with a high-pressure and high-intensity game, earned a penalty corner in the 21st minute. Rusher Matthew Dawson charged down to block Rupinder Pal Singh's flick, and the home crowd was relieved.