HIL 3: Winless Delhi face Mumbai in battle of laggards

Yet to record a win in the tournament, both defending champions Delhi Waveriders and debutants Dabang Mumbai would be desperate to get off the blocks when they take on each other in a league game of the Hero Hockey India League here on Sunday.

PTI| Last Updated: Jan 31, 2015, 18:52 PM IST
HIL 3: Winless Delhi face Mumbai in battle of laggards

New Delhi: Yet to record a win in the tournament, both defending champions Delhi Waveriders and debutants Dabang Mumbai would be desperate to get off the blocks when they take on each other in a league game of the Hero Hockey India League here on Sunday.

Both Waveriders and Dabang Mumbai are at similar position at the bottom of the standings with five points apiece from three games with two draws and a loss. But the Mumbai side is a place above the title holders in the six team standings because of a superior goal difference.

But come tomorrow, both the teams would be hoping to register their first win in the tournament at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium and better their position in the points table.

The Waveriders, especially, would be looking for a victory to silence their critics after having put up a not-so-impressive performance so far in the tournament.

But it would be easier said than done for the hosts as they have squandered their lead in all the three matches they have played so far to either split points or end up at the losing side.

Against table toppers Jaypee Punjab Warriors yesterday, the Waveriders took an early lead in the match and managed to hold on to it till the third quarter but their backline broke apart in the fourth and final quarter to concede three goals in the final 10 minutes of the game.

And Delhi coach Cedric D'Souza would be extra cautious tomorrow to avoid a repeat of the last match.

"This is an important game for us. We have worked on our plans. The team has also worked on its defence and I am sure we will make a comeback in the next match," an optimistic Cedric said on the eve of the match.

A win tomorrow will not only bolster the confidence of the Delhi outfit but would also bring them back into the six-team contest.

Dabang Mumbai, on the other hand, have nothing to lose

and would be eyeing to stage a upset tomorrow.

Coached by the experienced Valentin Altenburg, the newly crafted Mumbai side has some star players in their line-up which will allow them to take on their opponents with confidence.

Even though they are yet to register a win in the tournament, coavh Altenburg is satisfied with the performance of his wards so far in the tournament.

"I'm very satisfied on how the whole team works on their action goals. The game against Ranchi Rays was a step in the right direction. Tomorrow we will take the next step. We will play the Dabang style with heart for 60 minutes and then we will see what is on the scoreboard," he said.