Delhi Waveriders continued their winning momentum as they overcame a spirited challenge from Mumbai Magicians to prevail 2-1 in their second match of the Hockey India League in New Delhi.
Rupinder Pal Singh (26th minute) and Norris Jones (49th) scored for Delhi, while Sandeep Singh sounded the board for Mumbai in the 50th minute.
Mumbai could have easily earned themselves a draw had Sandeep not let go a golden opportunity in the dying minutes of the match at the Major Dhyanchand Stadium.
In the 69th minute, Mumbai's persistence paid off when Glenn Turner earned them a penalty corner. Sandeep took the penalty stroke in the 70th minute but his flick was carried very close to the goal line. Umpire Grime Murray of Australia checked with his colleague, India's Javed Shaikh and ruled against the Mumbai team.
There was a huge confusion as the ball hit the vertical and then got deflected by the other bar. Sandeep protested but the umpire said 'no-goal', much to the delight of the home team fans.
Earlier, Delhi made numerous inroads into Mumbai's citadel in the first quarter, but their experienced goalkeeper, P R Sreejesh thwarted all attempts with his resolute defence.
Delhi's New Zealand striker, Simon Child made the first move in the second minute of the game when he got a clear pass from Sardar Singh, but fullback Liam De Yound of Mumbai gave him no chance to take the shot.
Both sides resorted to some attacking brand of hockey as the match progressed on a fast note. Most of the Delhi attacks emanated from the right side as Mumbai relied on occasional counter attacks.
The hosts adopted their last match's style: aggression from the word go, but could not finish as expected with Sandeep Singh and Glenn Turner leading the Mumbai charge.
Delhi missed two golden opportunities in less than five minutes -- the first coming in the 11th minute. Akash Deep Singh set up Lorris Llyod but he misjudged the speed. In the 16th minute, Norris hit the already charged-up goalie, and the rebound shot was too high to make any difference to scoreline.
The first quarter failed to produce any goals but the second saw Rupinder striking in the 26th minute through a second penalty corner.
In the 31st, Mumbai got two chances but failed to covert, thanks to some good defence by goalie Nicolas Jacobi. The first was a field chance while the other was a penalty corner.
The second quarter saw both teams looking to pierce through the left flank, with close to 2000 supporters cheering the home team relentlessly.
At half time, Delhi led their Mumbai counterparts 1-0. In the 38th minute, Delhi missed a chance when Child had all the time in the world to take a hit, but could not.
While Mumbai tried hard for an equaliser, Delhi continued with their onslaught with skipper Sardar Singh leading from the front. Delhi's efforts paid dividends in the 49th minute when Jones scored from a close range. The South African striker got a clear pass that he put it in through the defence of PR Sreejesh as the goalie was slow in his reaction.
The 0-2 deficit spurred the Mumbai players to work even harder for the elusive goal and, in the 50th minute, the visitors pulled one through the experienced Sandeep Singh.
Sandeep's flick beat the Delhi goalie from left. Just as the third quarter was about to conclude, Delhi got another penalty corner which was defended successfully by Sreejesh.
As the fourth quarter began, Mumbai earned themselves a penalty corner in the 54th minute, but Sandeep's flick was deflected by Rupinder's foot. Two minutes later, Mumbai missed again when Sandeep's low flick was cleanly blocked by Jacobi.
The 58th minute saw Chandan Singh of Mumbai being shown the yellow card for wrong handling.