HIL: Ranchi, Delhi play goalless draw
Ranchi, Jan 28 (IANS) Former champions Ranchi Rays and Delhi Waveriders played a goalless draw to bag two points each in a Coal India Hockey India League (HIL) match at the AstroTurf Hockey Stadium here on Saturday.
The draw helped Ranchi get to 10 points — same as second-placed Kalinga Lancers, with the latter ahead on goal difference, while Delhi jumped to the fourth spot with three points from two matches.
Dabang Mumbai are on top of the table with 12 points from three games, while Uttar Pradesh Wizards are fifth with a point from as many game.
The draw between Ranchi and Delhi in the east Indian city here didn’t help much either of the team. Ranchi, who had ripped apart Kalinga in their previous match on Thursday, lacked the spark on the night.
Delhi were livelier of the two at the start and in the first quarter two shots at the target, including a penalty corner flick from Austin Smith, but Ranchi goalkeeper Tyler Lovell and his defenders were all alert. Smith’s flick in the 14th minute at the right post was put out by Tim Deavin.
Ranchi began to be proactive in the second quarter and made several circle incursions. But they hardly created anything to break the deadlock and even though couple of runs of Christopher Ruhr were praiseworrthy but they failed to the finish touches.
Delhi, meanwhile, sat deep and had to absorb the pressure, especially from Ruhr and right-back Gurbaj Singh, who combined well.
Delhi got a penalty corner early into the third quarter but Rupinder’s flick couldn’t go through the Ranchi defence again. The flick jumped towards the goal after hitting the left foot of Lovell but Flynn Ogilve pulled off a miraculous goal-line save.
Gurbaj continued to made fluent runs at the Delhi circle but Ranchi, who lacked the cohesion and the coordination, couldn’t break the deadlock.
“We created several chances but couldn’t convert them. Delhi were very strong defensively and going forward, we will try to rectify our mistakes,” Man-of-the-Match Gurbaj said at the post-match presentation ceremony.