At a sparsely occupied Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, Delhi Wizards kicked off their campaign with 3-2 win against the Karnataka Lions in the World Series Hockey (WSH) here on Friday.
While some 15,000 fans turned up Sunday to cheer for the national team in the Olympic qualifiers, some 150 fans were seen at the stand here as the WSH caravan chugged into the national capital.
The players, however, did their best, with Karnataka Lions making comeback despite being 0-2 down but the winning goal remained elusive for the tourists.
Vikramjeet Singh gave Delhi the lead converting the first penalty corner in the second minute. Pakistan's star player Shakeel Abbasi doubled the lead in the 19th minute.
Karnataka made a comeback immediately after the start of the third quarter through former India captain and veteran Dhanraj Pillay in the 36th minute and Ravipal Singh drew parity in the 48th minute.
But Delhi Wizards riding on skipper Rajpal Singh winner in the 51st minute stole the show, in front of the empty stadium.
There seems to be no takers for the rebel tournament, and with most of the members of the national squad keeping away from the tournament, fans too have done likewise.
The "dhol" tried its best to make up for the empty stands. However, that too fell on deaf ears.
Player calls and shrieks along with the referee's whistle juxtaposed with whispers of 'ooohs' and 'aaahhs' emanating from the sparse crowd.