Twenty four hours ago, the Delhi WaveRiders beat the Mumbai Magicians in a ten goal roller coaster of a game (Delhi won that game 6-4). The game today between Delhi and Ranchi put the cherry on the icing of the cake that is the Hockey India League, and provided some of the best hockey you will care to see. The Ranchi Rhinos have every right to feel hard done by, as they showed great heart to crawl back to a 4-4 scoreline, only to lose by the narrowest of margins.
Akashdeep Singh opened the scoring for Delhi in the 6th minute but Ranchi’s South African player Justin Ross made it 1-1 with four minutes remaining in the first quarter. In the third quarter, England’s Ashley Jackson made it 2-1 for the Rhinos, hitting the roof of the goal from a penalty stroke conversion. But the Rhinos lost the lead almost immediately as Rupinder Pal Singh of Delhi converted a penalty corner to make it 2-2. Gurvinder Chandi then made it 3-2 for Delhi with a beautiful flick past Francisco Cortes. Delhi then surged ahead as Rupinder found the board again to make it 4-2.
The Rhinos fought back through Mandeep Singh whose blinder from the edge of the circle made it 3-4 for the hosts. Four minutes later, the stadium was filled with the deafening noise of fireworks as Jackson scored of a penalty corner to equalize the score.
Delhi however, had the last laugh as Tim Jenkins scored from a rebound after Rupinder’s shot from the penalty corner was blocked by Cortes and that was the way it stayed until the final hooter.