Three successful penalty corners from Sandeep Singh saw a hapless Delhi Waveriders unit ripped to shreds. The Punjab Warriors beat Delhi Daredevils 7-0 in Mohali on Saturday. Rob Hammond too showed that retirement has not changed him. He scored a brace that had a direct influence on the outcome.
After Delhi Waveriders recorded their first two victories of this year’s campaign, it was expected to be some kind of a fight. But that clearly did not happen.
The 7-0 drubbing sees Punjab Warriors consolidate their position on the top of the table.
Sardar Singh Back for Waveriders
Delhi Waveriders captain Sardar Singh was restored to the starting XI after serving his one match suspension. Delhi coach Cedric D’Souza persisted with out-of-form defender Rupinder Pal Singh. As usual, Simon Child was at the helm of the attack. Akashdeep Singh was surprisingly replaced by Gurvinder Singh Chandi.
Punjab Warriors Start With All Aces
Top of the table Punjab Warriors fielded perhaps their strongest XI on paper. Sandeep Singh found his place alongside Varun Kumar. Retired international Roy Hammond was paired with captain Jamie Dwyer in midfield.
Sandeep Singh And S.V Sunil Set the ball Rolling
A lackluster first quarter of the match saw quite an interesting conclusion. A cheap penalty corner conceded by Rupinder Pal became the opening for the home side. With 12 minutes gone, the scoreboard read 1-0 in favor of the home side. The drag-flick shot to the bottom right corner gave goaltender Rassie Peiterse absolutely no chance. A couple of minutes later, Indian forward S.V Sunil (14′) too found his name on the score sheet with what was an opportunistic goal.
The first quarter therefore concluded with the score at 2-0 in favor of the Punjab Warriors.
The Rob Hammond Show
Retired Australian midfielder Rob Hammond showed why he is still the player to watch out for. Hammond got two goals to his name. Paired up with the likes of Jamie Dwyer and Danish Mujtaba in midfield, the seasoned Aussie was a revelation. Having scored on the cusp of half time, Hammond returned in the second half, inflicting more pain on his opponents. His second goal made it 4-0 in favor of the Punjab Warriors. It also ensured that the Delhi Waveriders had absolutely no way back in the contest.
Punjab Warriors Seal The Deal
Rupinder Pal Singh’s injury in the third quarter did little to help the situation as the Warriors dominated much of the third and the fourth quarter. Despite the absence of Sandeep Singh in certain moments of the second half, the Waveriders failed to stop the Warriors’ juggernaut. The last 15 minutes saw three goals. Sandeep Singh’s 45th minute penalty corner conversion was the icing on the cake.
The 7-0 win, apart from being the largest victory margin so far in the 2015 Hockey India League, solidifies the Punjab Warriors’ position at the top of the League.
The loss sees third position slipping away from the Delhi Waveriders. The defending champions are now placed fourth with 15 points from 6 matches. Their coach Cedric D’Souza will have to throw the kitchen sink to have any chance of retaining their Hockey India League crown.