Ranchi Rays came back strongly in their second game of the Hockey India League, after suffering a heavy 6-3 defeat against Kalinga Lancers at home, to register an impressive 2-1 victory against Dabang Mumbai, at the Mahindra Stadium in Mumbai. Belgium Tom Boon’s 39th minute strike handed the home side the early lead, but the Ranchi outfit nullified this with two quick strikes in the 40th and 44th minutes.
Both teams start cautiously
The game advanced at a slow pace in the first few minutes, as neither side was willing to go on the attack at the start. This overly defensive approach was especially more visible in Mumbai’s maneuvers, as the team, inspite of possessing sound strategies, appeared to be pegged back by absence of sufficient aggression in the ranks. Ranchi made full use of this period of docility from the home side, and ensured that they got their grip on the game, putting the memories of the defeat to Kalinga Lancers in the last game.
Quick strikes at the end of first half
The apparent slowness in the game came to a grinding halt in the 39th minute when the home team managed to get the scorecard moving. Nick Catlin’s pass from the edge of the circle was skillfully lent the right direction by Tom Boon.
Mumbai’s lead was, however, very shortlived, as they lost the plot in the next 5 minutes. Ranchi hit back with an equalizer from Barry Middleton, a minute after Mumbai opened the scoring. Baffled by this sudden charge from Ranchi, the hosts failed to effect the required changes in the game plan in the next few minutes and, consequently, suffered a second goal in the 44th minute. It was the Englishman Middleton, yet again, who scripted a brilliant turn around for the visitors with the second goal of the match.
Mumbai create chances, but fail to convert in second half
Even though a few tactical changes did become apparent in Mumbai’s gameplan in the final quarter, they failed to capitalize on the few chances that came their way. However, they were also careless enough to gift the opposition four quick penalty corners to the opposition, at one point of time, which Ranchi Rays failed to make use of. The visitors carefully closed the game off with a subtle mix of caution and aggression in the later half of the match, as they resisted Mumbai’s late efforts to take home a 2-1 victory!
Worries for Dabang Mumbai
With a consolation draw in the first game and an unimpressive loss in the second, Mumbai now have their task cut out. They shall now face Ranchi Rays, yet again, in a rematch, this time in Ranchi on January 28th.