HIL 2016 : Gritty Kalinga Lancers pull off a thriller, beat Dabang Mumbai 4-2

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kalinga- 1Kalinga Lancers had recovered from their opening match loss to Uttar Pradesh Wizards as they  bounced back to beat Dabang Mumbai 4-2 in a closely contested Hockey India League (HIL) game at Bhubaneswar . The two sides were goal-less at the half time but scored thrice in the next 30 minutes, all field efforts with each strike counting as two under the new rules.

The Lancers, showed great grit and rallied from one-goal deficit after Dabang Mumbai had taken the lead through Florian Fuchs in the 35th minute. The home side restored parity in the 45th minute through Adam Dixon before Glenn Turner struck what turned out to be the winning goal in the 51st minute. With the win, the Lancers have secured six points from two matches, the same as Jaypee Punjab Warriors, to occupy the top of the table. This was the opening match for the Mumbai side.

A win gets a team five points while a draw counts for two points. A team which loses with a goal difference of two or less will get a point while no point will be given for a side which loses with a goal difference of three or more.
The match began on a fast-pace note and both sides attacked vigorously without any goals. Both the goalkeepers found themselves busy, pulling off some good saves. The match continued to remain in a stalemate at the half time though both teams played some entertaining hockey. This was the first time in this edition that there was no goal till the second quarter.

An alert striker Florian Fuchs gave Mumbai the lead through a field goal as he tucked in the rebound in the 35th minute. The Lancers struck back in the final minute of the third quarter through a stunning field goal by Dixon and an action-packed third quarter came to an end with both teams finding themselves in a 2-2 deadlock.

Egged on by the partisan home crowd, the Lancers put constant pressure on the visiting Mumbai side in the last quarter and it finally paid off. The home side scored in the 51st minute through Turner with captain Moritz Fuerste setting it up to notch up their first victory of the tournament.