The third match of the Hero Hockey India League was played between Dabang Mumbai and Jaypee Punjab Warriors at the Mahindra Hockey stadium in Mumbai. Both the teams provided great entertainment as Sandeep Singh scored a quick brace to put the Punjab Warriors in command. But, Dabang Mumbai pulled out an equalizer in the dying seconds of the game through Chinglensana Singh. Thus, the game ended in a 3-3 draw and Dabang Mumbai had to share points with the Jaypee Punjab Warriors.
First quarter: Dabang Mumbai take early lead
Dabang Mumbai began to control the game right after pushback. The team looked a lot more determined and co-ordinated than the previous editions. They were launching repeated attacks in the attacking circle and their efforts bore fruit early in the 7th minute. Young Harmanpreet Singh converted a penalty corner with a stunning 124 kph drag-flick into the goal to give Dabang Mumbai an important 1-0 lead.
Second Quarter: Stockman stars in goalless second period
Punjab looked to erase the deficit in the second quarter but were denied by the Dabang Mumbai defenders. The second quarter saw maximum involvement of defenders on both ends and hence no goals were scored. Dabang Mumbai came real close to scoring their second goal but a brilliant diving save by Punjab goalkeeper Jaap Stockmann came in their way. Hence the hosts somehow held on to their one goal lead.
Third quarter: Dwyer scores equalizer for Jaypee Punjab Warriors
Australian veteran Jamie Dwyer scored a stunning equalizer early in the third quarter. In the 32nd minute, he single-handedly cut past three defenders in the shooting circle and fired in a brilliant hit. The ball darted into the far corner of the goal, leaving David Harte, the Dabang Mumbai goalie, in awe. The Jaypee Punjab Warriors had another chance through a smart deflection by Dwyer but was denied by a quick reflex save by David Harte. With 15 more minutes to go, the game was evenly poised at 1-1 and one could expect some fireworks in the last quarter.
Fourth quarter: Sandeep, Chinglensana star in dying minutes
Both the teams were determined to win and put in all their energy in the final quarter. In the 50th minute, Chinglensana scored a brilliant solo field goal to give Dabang Mumbai a 2-1 lead. Six minutes later, Jaypee Punjab Warriors were awarded a penalty stroke and Sandeep Singh came forward. The calm and composed Punjab drag-flicker scored an equalizer from the set piece as he sent the ball into the bottom right corner of the goal. Sandeep rose to the occasion once again in the 59th minute when he converted a penalty corner to give the visitors an almost unassailable 3-2 lead. With just 50 seconds to go, Dabang Mumbai launched a surprise counter-attack and Chinglensana ran in from the right and scored another field goal to dash Punjab’s hopes of winning the game. Four goals were scored in the last 15 minutes as both teams settled for a 3-3 draw.
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