Ranchi: Dabur Mumbai Magicians' chances of making it to the top four of the Hero Hockey India League suffered another blow on Monday as they went down 1-2 to Ranchi Rhinos in an away game at the Astroturf Stadium here. Goals from Ashley Jackson and Mandeep Singh were good enough to put Rhinos on level terms with Delhi Waveriders with 27 points.
Magicians lost their seventh straight game, with a Sandeep Singh goal proving to be futile. Mumbai Magicians, guilty of conceding an early goal quite often in this tournament so far, got off to the best possible start. They earned a penalty corner in the first minute of the match, and Sandeep Singh made no mistake with his drag flick.
The ace drag flicker scored his 10th goal of the tournament, making his position as the league's top scorer even stronger. Ranchi Rhinos played an attacking game after going a goal down, but were unable to find an equaliser soon. The visitors earned their second penalty corner in the 10th minute, but with their specialist drag flicker Sandeep on the bench, they failed to capitalise.
Rhinos earned three successive penalty corners between the 14th and the 16th minute, but were unable to find the net. Two minutes later, Rhinos earned their fourth penalty corner, and Jackson was unlucky to miss out, as his strike beat the Magicians goalkeeper but hit the right post. The rebound shot was taken, but it struck goalie Sreejesh and the ball was soon taken out of danger.
Rhinos kept looking for the equaliser in the second half, and it eventually came in the 28th minute, of the hosts' sixth penalty corner. Mandeep showed some superb skills to earn the penalty corners and this time Jackson went over Sreejesh, and his strike got a touch from the goalkeeper before entering the net.
Rhinos delivered a blow to the visitors when Mandeep's last touch off Manpreet found the net in the 49th minute.