HIL 2017: Dabang Mumbai Eye Delhi Scalp in Semi-Finals
Maiden semi-finalists Dabang Mumbai will look to extend their dream campaign into the final of the Hockey India League (HIL) when they face former champions Delhi Waveriders in a last four battle at the Chandigarh Hockey Stadium here on Saturday.
Dabang Mumbai in action in the Hockey India League. (Image Credits: HIL)
Chandigarh: Maiden semi-finalists Dabang Mumbai will look to extend their dream campaign into the final of the Hockey India League (HIL) when they face former champions Delhi Waveriders in a last four battle at the Chandigarh Hockey Stadium here on Saturday.
Dabang Mumbai had failed to reach the semi-finals in the last two years of existence and this year they have changed that by displaying top-class hockey which enabled them to finish first in the league phase. In fact in 2013 and 2014, the now-disbanded Mumbai Magicians franchise from the financial capital, had never made it to the semi-finals.
"As a franchise, this is the first time Dabang Mumbai is playing in a semi-final and the mood in the team is upbeat and everyone is excited to play," captain Florian Fuchs, a $96,000 German recruit, said, quite aware of the importance of the contest.
Even though Delhi got off to a slow start but the Cedric D'Souza-coached side made remarkable comeback in the league phase with some fine victories against defending champions Jaypee Punjab Warriors, Kalinga Lancers and Uttar Pradesh Wizards that ensured a spot in the knockout.
"Though Delhi Waveriders didn't get off to a great start nor did they lose games by big margins, they have managed to turn things around for themselves with some inspiring performances," Fuchs said of the national capital outfit.
But Fuchs knows that be come any challenge, his side is prepared and has shown their fighting ability by pulling off winners in the dying seconds of at least three matches.
Delhi Waveriders, on the other hand, would be hoping to keep up their winning ways despite a loss in their previous game to Ranchi Rays. They will be heavily banking on defenders Iain Lewers, Justin Reid-Ross and Rupinder Pal Singh, midfielders Austin Smith, Tristian White and Harjeet Singh to provide good ball supply to German Niklas Wellen, Mandeep Singh and Parvinder Singh in the forward line.
"I think we played well in the last 15 minutes against Ranchi Rays but we had conceded too many goals to make a comeback. We can't afford to make the kind of mistakes we did in the league stage. Dabang Mumbai have been very consistent this season and we need to make sure we don't miss out on the chances we create.
"The beauty of the tournament is such that you can't predict which team will pull off a win and I am sure it will be an exciting outing of hockey on Saturday," stated India's ace drag-flicker Rupinder, the skipper of Delhi.
The defence, comprising Sander De Wijn, Jeremy Hayward, Harmanpreet Singh and Gurmail Singh have improved as the league progressed. World Goalkeeper of the Year 2015 and 2016 David Harte of Ireland has also been rock solid, giving the confidence and assurance the team to go out on attack.
Against a well-drilled unit like Mumbai, Delhi's tactic of waiting for the opponent's mistake will be tested to the hilt.
Catch the Biggest Newsmakers and the Biggest Newsbreaks on CNN-News18, your favourite English TV news channel. Keep watching CNN-News18 at just 50 Paise per Month. Contact your cable /DTH operator Now!
*Rental / capacity fee of Rs.130/- as charged by cable / DTH operator may apply. **GST extra.
Recommended For You
- Paytm Republic Day Sale: Cashback on Apple iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8 Plus and More
- Cardiff Striker Emiliano Sala Feared Missing in Plane Crash: French Police
- Video of Sara Ali Khan and Malaika Arora Working Out Together is Breaking the Internet, Watch Here
- France Fines Google €50 Million For Violating Data Privacy Rules As Defined by The GDPR
- Spider-Man Tom Holland Accidentally Uploads Entire Avengers: Endgame on Twitter? Deets Inside
- 01 d
- 12 h
- 38 m
- 09 s