Down to ten men for the entire second half, a struggling Dabang Mumbai secured their first victory in the Hockey India League with a thrilling 7-5 win over table toppers and defending champions Ranchi Rays.
Making light of the red card shown to their forward Yousuf Affan at the fag end of the second quarter, Mumbai produced top-drawer stuff to stun Ranchi with a spirited display that stopped the visitors' four-game winning streak.
Led brilliantly by Australian captain and schemer Matthew Swann, Mumbai scored three field goals – which are counted as a double strike as per the rules of the HIL – through Swann, Nilakanta Sharma and Florian Fuchs after Diwakar Ram gave them an early lead with a penalty corner conversion.
For Ranchi their skipper Ashley Jackson scored twice off penalty corner awards along with Sandeep Singh at the fag-end of the game while the other goal, a fine field effort, was notched by Sarvanjit Singh.
The victory, their first in five games, took Mumbai's tally to 9, still in last position in the six-team table, while Ranchi secured one point for not losing by more than two goals and remained on top with 22 points from six games.
Mumbai take on Uttar Pradesh Warriors next on February 6 at Lucknow while Ranchi would clash with Kalinga Lancers on February 8 at Bhubaneswar.