Mumbai Magicians ended their campaign on a disappointing note after going down 0-1 to Ranchi Rhinos in the final league game of the Hero Hockey India League at Mumbai Hockey Association Stadium in Mumbai on Thursday.
Rhinos, who were guaranteed to finish second and face UP Wizards in the semis before this match started, earned five points through a superb field goal from Nick Wilson in the final quarter.
Magicians suffered their 11th defeat in 12 games in this tournament, to finish at the bottom of the table.
Just like the evening match between Uttar Pradesh Wizards and Delhi Waveriders, this game also saw no goals being scored in the first half. There were chances a plenty, but the deep defenders and goalkeepers of both the teams were superb.
Rhinos earned the first penalty corner of the game in the first quarter, but were unable to convert it. Magicians made a number of attacks, entering the Rhinos circle at regular intervals.
They earned two penalty corners in the first half, but Sandeep Singh, the tournament's leading goal-scorer, misfired on both occasions. Sandeep, who has scored 11 goals, all on penalty corners, missed eight penalty corners in the last three games.
The third quarter was also played at same pace, and soon Magicians earned their third penalty corner of the night, as Glen Turner made a good move to enter the Rhinos' D. The push was not stopped properly for Sandip to have a go at the drag flick. The ball went to Mathew Swann, who had a clear shot on goal. However, he ended up hitting the ball wide, and the score-line stayed 0-0.
Rhinos earned their second penalty corner just a few minutes later, but the execution was poor, as the push was not stopped properly.
Mathew Butterani put a lot of pressure on the rhinos defence in the last couple of minutes of the third quarter, and earned a penalty corner in the last minute, as a Rhinos player deliberately hit the ball out of play inside the D.