16th February, 2016, Mumbai: Spectators at the Mahindra Stadium, Mumbai experienced some scintillating hockey today as their home team Dabang Mumbai H.C. defeated Uttar Pradesh Wizards 6-3. With this win Dabang Mumbai H.C finish the group stage with 25 points and still have a chance to book their maiden semi-final berth in the 4th Coal India Hockey India League.
The playoffs and finals will be played at the Astro Turf hockey stadium in Ranchi on the 20th and 21st February 2016. The tickets for the playoffs and finals are available for purchase at www.ticketgenie.in and at selected locations in Ranchi.
The first quarter began with Dabang Mumbai H.C. playing attacking hockey and pressing hard to score. The hosts also faced some strong attacks from the Uttar Pradesh Wizards which were beautifully cleared by their goalkeeper David Harte. Dabang Mumbai H.C. kept pressing hard and finally got success through a stunning field goal in the 13th minute from Gurjant Singh taking a 2-0 lead at the first quarter.
The second quarter began with the ball possession shifting to the Uttar Pradesh Wizards. The visitors made some good moves but could not convert any into a goal. The Wizards however did not lose hope and kept on pressing hard making successive circle entries into the Dabang Mumbai H.C area. Their efforts yielded a result in the form of a penalty corner in the 19th minute, and VR Raghunath made no mistake in converting it into a goal, reducing the score to 2-1 still in the favour of Dabang Mumbai H.C. Uttar Pradesh Wizards who were playing attacking hockey in the second quarter struck for the second time through a field goal from Chinglensana Singh in the last minute of the second quarter, giving the wizards a narrow lead of 3-2 in the game. The first half came to an end with the score board reading 3-2 in the favour of the Uttar Pradesh Wizards.
The third quarter began with a lot of the game taking place in the midfield. Both the teams were trying hard to score but defenders from both the sides ensured that the score board did not change. Uttar Pradesh Wizard however could not sustain their lead for long, as one brilliant move from Dabang Mumbai H.C. in the 42nd minute resulted in a spectacular field goal from star German forward Florian Fuchs bring the hosts back into the lead in the game. The third quarter ended with Dabang Mumbai H.C. leading 4-3 in the match.
The final quarter of the match began with Uttar Pradesh Wizards trying hard to come back in the game but Dabang Mumbai H.C. defenders stood like a wall denying the Wizards’ forward line any opportunity to score. Dabang Mumbai H.C. who were playing attacking hockey too in the final quarter with the hope to extend their lead made their final blow for the visitors in the 59th minute through an outstanding goal from Affan Yousuf taking the score board to 6-3 ensuring the host’s keep their hopes of making it to the semi-finals alive. The match came to an end with the score board reading 6-3 in the favour of Dabang Mumbai H.C.
The Coal India Goal of the Match award of INR 50,000 was presented by Dr RS Jha, Director (Personnel), SECL to Florian Fuchs from Dabang Mumbai H.C. while his team mate Affan Yousuf walked away with the Most Entertaining Player of the Match award. Florian Fuchs from Dabang Mumbai H.C. won the Man of the Match award of INR 50,000 while his team mate Gurjant Singh won the Hero Emerging Player of the Match award of INR 25,000. The last league match of the 4th edition of the Coal India Hockey India League will be played between Delhi Waveriders and Kalinga Lancers at the Shivaji Stadium, New Delhi on the 17th February 2016.
The six team annual franchise based hockey league, the flagship event of Hockey India – the apex body governing the sport in the country and sanctioned by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) is being played across six venues in India from 18th January – 21st February 2016.