New Delhi: Last year`s runners-up Delhi Waveriders would be keen to put behind their narrow defeat in the last game and look to subdue debutants Kalinga Lancers in their opening home game of the Hero Hockey India League 2014 at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium, here on Thursday.
Delhi conceded a late goal against defending champions Ranchi Rhinos on Monday after a perfect start to their campaign in the second edition of HHIL.
The Sardar Singh-led side defeated Jaypee Punjab Warriors 3-1 in their tournament opener.
Delhi displayed some stout defending against the Rhinos but the forward line disappointed the side as they failed to convert some really good opportunities.
After being completely outplayed in the first half, the Delhi outfit came back strongly and put up a better show in the second period. But a 63rd minute penalty-corner strike from Ashley Jackson downed the Waveriders in a keenly-contested match.
The Waveriders would be hoping for a better outing from the likes of Jason Wilson, Yuvraj Valmiki, Simon Child, Rupinderpal Singh and others against the
Lancers, who looked completely out of sorts in their 3-7 defeat against Jaypee Punjab Warriors in their opening match of the event.
And come Thursday, the Delhi side would be hoping to score goals early against a the newcomers, who are trying to find footing in the six-team
The services of ever-reliable Nicolas Jacobi of Germany under the bar gives Delhi`s defense an added cushion.
Having lost just one game at home in the six encounters last season, the Waveriders boast of an impressive home record. They won four of them while one match ended in a draw.
The Waveriders are presently second in the points table with six points from two games and a win by more than three goals tomorrow will take them to the top of the standings.
For Kalinga Lancers, it is still early days into the tournament and the Odisha-based side would look to settle their combinations sooner rather than later.
The Lancers had a forgetful debut yesterday when they were thrashed 3-7 by Punjab Warriors at their home ground in Bhubaneswar. The team, expectedly, looked little rusty and their defense wasn`t up to the mark.
However, Argentine defender Gonzalo Peillat looked in great touch as he found the net twice through penalty corners while a field goal was scored by Mandeep Antil.
The side possesses an experienced midfield with local lad Prabodh Tirkey and Kiel Brown of Australia in charge, and the duo will have to shoulder much of the responsibility.
Terry Walsh, chief coach of Indian men`s team, would be aiming to bring out the best from the newly-formed squad, which has a great mix of young Indians and foreign recruits, to make an impact in the debut season.
The Lancers knows that they will have their task cut against the much-fancied opponents which boasts of well-known players.
The Lancers would also be eying to open their account in the tournament after having failed to garner a single point yesterday.