Kalinga Lancers beat Dabang Mumbai 4-2 in HIL

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Bhubaneswar, Jan 21 (IANS) Kalinga Lancers beat Dabang Mumbai 4-2 to register their first victory in the Hockey India League (HIL) 2016 at the Kalinga Stadium here on Thursday.

German striker Florian Fuchs’ field goal handed Mumbai a 2-0 advantage but two field strikes from Adam Dixon and Glenn Turner helped the hosts win the match after a defeat in the inaugural match against Uttar Pradesh Wizards.

From the beginning of the match, both the teams Mumbai and Kalinga started playing some defensive shots as no one was ready to give room to the other to score.

Already under pressure following the last-minute defeat in the inaugural match, Kalinga tried to play the match with some calculated moves while the rival team managed to keep the ball in their control in the first quarter.

The first quarter of the match remained goalless as both the goalkeepers pulled off some good saves.

In the second quarter, Kalinga tried to play some attacking shots but failed to produce any goal as Mumbai goalkeeper David Harte of Ireland thwarted their every attempt.

The strikers of Mumbai also played some attacking shots in a desperate move to open their account during the second quarter. However, both the teams failed to produce any goal.

In the beginning of the third quarter, it was striker Fuchs, who opened the account for Mumbai by producing a field goal in the 35th minute giving their team a lead over the host team. Fuchs pounced from close range on a rebound off goalkeeper Andrew Charter, whose block to a Gurjant Singh hit was not perfect.

The visitors also earned a penalty corner building pressure on the host team. But, they failed to capitalise on it. Charter successfully managed to ward off the danger that came in the form of Harmanpreet Singh’s flick.

Overcoming the pressure, Lancers levelled the score with a stunning field goal just before the end of the third quarter. Englishman Dixon cleverly deflected the ball home.

Boosted by the equaliser, Kalinga pressed further and took the lead in the beginning of the fourth quarter when seasoned Australian striker Turner found the gap to hit the ball after receiving a pass from his captain Moritz Furste.

With the lead, Lancers built pressure on Mumbai, while the later struggled hard to level the score with the host team throughout the last quarter.

Lancers’ captain Furste, who bagged the man of the match award, said their well calculated steps fetched the result and exuded confidence that they would continue the good work in the coming matches.

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