Skipper Florian Fuchs and striker Affan Yusuf struck a brace each as Dabang Mumbai thrashed defending champions Jaypee Punjab Warriors 10-4 to register their second win in the fifth season of the Hockey India League (HIL), here on Friday.
Fuchs, a $96,000 German import, sounded the board twice (30th and 43rd minutes) after Punjab forward Matt Gohdes (13th minute) cancelled out nikkin Thimmiah's fifth minute opening goal lead.
Arman Qureshi then scored a field goal to reduce the difference to two in the 44th minute. But Affan Yousuf's 49th minute deflection and another goal gave the hosts a 10-4 lead and the win in the match where the visitors played their first match of the HIL 2017.
With this win, Mumbai jumped to the top of the table with 12 points from three games, pushing down Kalinga Lancers, who have 10 points, to the second spot. Ranchi Rays are third with eight points from three games, while Uttar Pradesh Wizards are fourth with a point from as many game. Mumbai caught a very fine start and got the advantage when Belgin midfielder Manuel Stockbroekx made a solo run of around 50 yards and moved to the right of the Punjab circle before crossing at the feet of goalkeeper Tristian Clemons.
The ball bounced off Clemons' feet and Nikkin was ready to slap the ball in to make it 2-0. Following the goal, Mumbai kept on attacking and Nilankanta Sharma's drive at the top of the circle was put away by Clemons. Unlike the last match against the UP Wizards, when Dabang Mumbai scored a come from behind 4-3 victory, this time they dominated from the first minute itself literally and gave no chance to the opposition.