Dabang Mumbai came very close to almost winning their first match of the Hockey India League’s third edition. However they were only close. Ranchi Rays pulled them far away from the finish line. Dabang Mumbai squandered a two goal lead on Wednesday against the Ranchi Rays.
The match ended in a 2-2 draw at the slippery Astroturf Hockey Stadium. Ranchi had earlier beat Mumbai at the Mahindra Hockey Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday.
Mumbai Score Two In First Quarter
The Dabangs started the match true to their name. They were dominating Ranchi all over the field. Some quick build-up play saw Dabang Mumbai threaten Ranchi Rays’ goal often. In the 12th minute Dabang Mumbai were well rewarded. The Young Harmanpreet Singh crossed it into the D. The ball found Arjun Halappa. Halappa lined a shot at goal. It was deflected by his fellow Glenn Turner, leaving no chance for Ranchi keeper Francisco Cortes.
Just a few minutes later, Mumbai doubled their lead. Glenn Turner found Santa Singh in the box with an incisive pass. Santa pounced on it and fired it effortlessly past Cortes.
Ranchi Rays Display Resilience
Almost any Mumbai fan would have written the game off. However, the Ranchi faithfuls assembled at the Astroturf kept hoping. An inspired Barry Middleton helped his team draw the match at 2-2.
In the very first minute of the second half, the Ranchi Rays scored their first goal of the match. Englishman Barry Middleton fed the young midfielder Daniel Beale inside the box. Beale hit a smacking reverse hit. His shot beat the Dabang Mumbai Goalkeeper D’Souza. Ranchi Rays were now trailing Mumbai by just one goal at 2-1 in the beginning of the second quarter.
The comeback was completed in the second quarter by Ranchi Rays skipper Ashley Jackson. In 37th minute Ashley Jackson expertly scored from a drag flick. Dabang Mumbai were clueless as to what was going on. Ranchi Rays had transformed.
It was Jackson’s third goal of the season.
Dabang Mumbai Survive Courtesy D’Souza
If Ranchi Rays had been missing some confidence, they found all of it by the end of third quarter. In the fourth quarter, the attacking traffic came only from Ranchi Rays.
If it were not for the Dabang Goalkeeper D’souza, Ranchi Rays would have scored a winner surely. D’Souza made some amazing saves to stop the Ranchi Rays from scoring again.