HIL 2017: Delhi Waveriders eye maiden win against Punjab Warriors
New Delhi [India], 6th February 2017: Delhi Waveriders will look at leveraging home support to earn their first win of the ongoing Hockey India League (HIL) when they take on defending champions Jaypee Punjab Warriors in what promises to be an exciting clash here at the Shivaji Stadium on Tuesday.
While the Delhi Waveriders, currently placed at the bottom of the points table, are yet to clinch a win in the fifth edition of the HIL, the defending Champions will be vying to find their winning ways after narrowly losing their previous match to the Kalinga Lancers.
After playing three games in the season so far, Delhi Waveriders have four points in their kitty with one draw against Ranchi Rays and two losses against Dabang Mumbai and Kalinga Lancers.
Jaypee Punjab Warriors, on the other hand, suffered a loss in their opening tie against Dabang Mumbai but came back strong with a 7-0 win against Ranchi Rays but lost their third tie to home team Kalinga Lancers 5-6. The defending champions led by stalwart captains Sardar Singh and Mark Knowles are currently placed second from the bottom of the points table with six points.
The Delhi Waveriders led by expert dragflicker Rupinder Pal Singh will be hoping to leverage the home ground advantage and will be rooting for their Junior Indian Team's World Cup heroes Mandeep Singh, Harjeet Singh, Parvinder Singh and Santa Singh to fire-up. Though the young lads have shown a lot of promise this season, they are yet to showcase their real potential.
In the 2016 edition of the HIL, Rupinder Pal Singh was the highest goal scorer for the team with 12 goals, while Talwinder Singh and Mandeep were sixth and eight highest goal scorers in the over- all league.
Coach Cedric D'Souza will be banking on these young guns and will also be expecting their foreign buys Simon Child, Justin Reid-Ross and Manuel Brunet to come up with a better show.
"We have been slightly unlucky when it comes to converting the chances we create. We have been off the mark when it comes to converting penalty corners too. But it's still too early in the league to write us off. We have a very good team with a good mix of players and we are looking for one good win that will give us the momentum in the league," stated a confident Rupinder Pal Singh.
Title holders Jaypee Punjab Warriors are undoubtedly strong contenders for the title. They have a solid line-up in Mink van der Weerden, Jacob Whetton, SV Sunil, Matt Gohdes and young Armaan Qureshi who have shown what they are capable of on a good day on the field. The team will also expect a lot more from their senior players like Robert van der Horst, who is playing his maiden Coal India Hockey India League, Mark Knowles and Sardar Singh who have a lot of fire-power in them.
"I think it was unfortunate that we lost against Kalinga Lancers. We came back very strong in the last quarter though we conceded goals in the first half. I think our defenders did well in terms of not letting Kalinga Lancers score more goals in the second half. I am sure the team is ready for a good fight against Delhi Waveriders.
We need to be consistent in our performance. We are working on ironing out some minor mistakes we did in the previous match and I am confident the team is eager for a good show," stated Sardar Singh, the team captain. (ANI)