Mumbai: Punjab Warriors edged out Mumbai Magicians by 4-2 in a fast-paced Hockey India League encounter at the MHA Mahindra Stadium here on Sunday night to notch up their first victory in four games. Punjab took an early lead but Mumbai rallied from the setback to be 2-1 up going into the fourth and final quarter before a concerted Punjab attack struck twice in the space of three minutes to surge into a 3-2 lead.
Later, Dharamvir Singh struck in the final minute for his second goal to complete the tally. The goal scorers for Punjab were Dharamvir (2), skipper Jamie Dwyer and Ranjit Singh all from the field - while for Mumbai Satbir Singh and Sandeep Singh (penalty corner) found the mark. It was Punjabs first win in four games and took their points tally to 8 while Mumbai suffered their third straight defeat but also increased their tally by one to 3 for having lost by a margin of only 2 goals.
Mumbai had lost their earlier two games 1-2 and 1-3 respectively and will take on Delhi Waver Riders on Monday in their fourth match here. The conduct of the match was marred by a power outage that dimmed the floodlights and forced an hours unscheduled break. Ric Charlesworth-coached Mumbai were pressed hard by their rivals in the first quarter and conceded an early goal following a penalty corner before hitting back almost immediately to restore parity.
Mumbai had lost their earlier two games 1-2 and 1-3 respectively and will take on Delhi Waver Riders on Monday in their fourth match.
Punjab went ahead in the opening minute when Dharamvir Singh found the target off a pass from the left after their opening penalty corner was deflected wide by a Mumbai defender leading to a long corner which proved successful for the visitors. But Mumbai, who soaked in the pressure well after Punjab, coached by Barry Dancer, attacked relentlessly from the right flank, struck back six minutes later.
Off a quick counter attack down the centre, home team captain Mathew Butturini had a shy at the goal with a powerful reverse hit from the top of the D which was blocked by Punjab keeper Jaap Stockman of Holland. The rebound was sent in by Satbir Singh lying in wait to restore parity in the 7th minute of play. Mumbai goal had a close shave soon afterwards when their goalkeeper P R Sreejesh was beaten but the ball was cleared off the line in time by full back Mathew Swann.
The two teams were level after the 17 and a-half-minute period. There was a partial power failure to dim the floodlights and the match was stopped for insufficient light a few minutes into the second quarter. When the game resumed Mumbai were again at the receiving end with Ignace Tirkey marshalling the left side moves. The home team, however, muffed a golden chance to take the lead when Turner could not put the ball past Stockman in the rival goal in a one on one situation after being fed with a through pass by Sandeep Singh.
But just before the half time hooter, Sandeep converted their first penalty corner award to put Mumbai 2-1 ahead and the score remained the same at the end of the third quarter. Punjab went into overdrive at the start of the fourth quarter and were thwarted first by some wayward shooting and by the woodwork when Russel Fords stiff reverse-hit struck the cross-piece.
However, the visitors were not to be denied the equalizer and their captain Jamie Dwyer found the target by applying finishing touches to a quick move down the middle in the 56th minute of play which made the score 2-2. And two minutes later Ranjit Singh deflected home a cross from the right by the hard-working S V Sunil to put Punjab 3-2 ahead. Sunil then did the spadework to lay a through pass for Dharamvir to find the target from close on the run just before the final hooter.