Battling Waveriders scrape past Magicians

Delhi Waveriders scraped past table laggards Mumbai Magicians with a 2-1 victory in the Hero Hockey India League at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium on Thursday. 

The contest was fast heading towards a draw but Yuvraj Walmiki sealed the victory for his side with a late strike in the 66th minute.

The victory was Waveriders’ second from their four home matches this season and kept them on top of the table with 24 points. As for Magicians, the search for their first victory this year continued. They, however, impressed with their spirited effort in the second half.   

After a tepid first quarter, Waveriders returned with purpose and benefited from a defensive lapse in the midfield. Llyod Norris Jones latched the opportunity to break away in a solo effort before releasing the ball to Akashdeep Singh at the top of circle. The young Indian scored with a reverse flick in the 20th minute.

Magicians finally levelled through captain Glenn Turner (49th) scoring the equaliser off a rebound. It was now time for Waveriders to feel the heat. The hosts had conjured up a defeat and draw in their last two outings on their home ground.

Expectedly, they stepped up the gas though they could only muster a penalty corner, their first in the match. But Rupinderpal Singh’s strike was well saved by goalkeeper David Harte to ensure the scoreboard remained static.

As the remaining minutes ticked away, Waveriders pressed with urgency with snappy moves. They succeeded when Walmiki, on receiving a parallel pass from the left deflected in.

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