Jaypee Punjab Warriors ensured that the Dabur Mumbai Magicians remained win-less in the Hero Hockey India League, beating them 4-3 at the Surjit Singh Hockey Stadium on Thursday.
Malak Singh, SV Sunil and Russell Ford scored for the hosts, while PR Sreejesh's own goal made it four for the hosts.
This was Magicians' fifth loss in as many games, while Warriors scored their second win over the Magicians in this tournament, and also their first win at home this year.
"We made some silly mistakes in the third quarter," Magicians' skipper Sandeep Singh admitted.
The first quarter started on a high note, with Mumbai Magicians earning a penalty corner in the first minute itself. Magicians managed to earn three more by the end of first six minutes. The visitors were unable to convert any of them, part of the reason being that the Magicians made some errors. At the same time, Warriors' goalkeeper Jaap Stockmann was superb while handling penalty corners.
The goal did eventually come via a penalty corner for Magicians, in the 14th minute. This time there were no errors, as Sandeep Singh smacked a shot low to Stockmann's right, which was too quick for the Warriors' goalkeeper.
Warriors were also guilty of not being able to convert any of the two penalty corners in the first quarter.
The second quarter was a bit dull in comparison. Both teams had almost an identical percentage of possession, both the teams tried to construct some good moves, but neither of the goalkeeper was really put under pressure for the most part.
Warriors were lucky to equalise in the 30th minute when Robert Hammond sent in a powerful hit. Magicians' goalkeeper Sreejesh came charging to block the angle, but ended up deflecting the ball in his own goal with his right foot.
Four minutes later, the hosts got a penalty corner, when Sandeep Singh kicked the ball away from Jamie Dwyer. Sreejesh blocked the drag flick well, but the move that followed saw Dwyer making a pass to Malak Singh, who deflected the ball past Sreejesh in the goal in the last minute of the first half.
Third quarter was completely dominated by the hosts. They made one attack after other on the Magicians' goal; Dharamvir Singh missed a great opportunity in the 37th minute, when he could not pass the ball to Jamie Dwyer who was unmarked in front of the empty goal. A minute later, Dwyer was the guilty player, losing possession from a great position.
The pressure applied by Warriors eventually paid off when SV Sunil got a great ball from the left flank, his first shot was blocked by Sreejesh, but Sunil collected the rebound, rounded Sreejesh, and tapped the ball in the goal. Five minutes later, the hosts increased their lead further. Malak Singh outran his marker Sandeep from the left, made a superb pass to Russell Ford and the later deflected the ball beautifully in the goal.
Glenn Turner pulled one back for the visitors in the second minute of the final quarter, collecting a good pass from the top of the circle, and beating Warriors' goalkeeper Chetri with ease.
Magicians were given a lifeline with five minutes to go, when a powerfully struck hit caught Dwyer's stick, and beat Chetri in the Warriors' goal. It looked like Chetri didn't realise that the ball had deflected from Dwyer's stick, and actually left the ball. However, Magicians were unable to find that elusive equaliser.
Jamie Dwyer, Captain Jaypee Punjab Warriors, said, "It's a good feeling to win on home ground. Im really proud of the way the team played today especially in the third quarter. We have a long road ahead and we are playing much better in each of our matches".
"We are not disappointed as we have a lot of matches to play. We have committed some silly mistakes today especially in the third quarter. We will learn from these mistakes and I am sure we will win the next match". Sandeep Singh, captain Dabur Mumbai Magicians, added.
In their next home match, Jaypee Punjab Warriors take on Ranchi Rhinos on 4th February, at the Surjit Singh Hockey Stadium at 8 p.m. and Dabur Mumbai Magicians will play their next home match against Uttar Pradesh Wizards at the MHA Stadium on 30th January at 6 p.m.
Hero Goal of the Day: Glenn Turner
Man-of-the-Match: Ignace Tirkey