Bhubaneswar, Feb 12: Delhi Waveriders rallied after conceding two goals to play out a thrilling 2-2 draw against Kalinga Lancers in their first leg clash of the Hero Hockey India League here today.
Kalinga Lancers were 2-0 up with goals from Lucas Vila (3rd minute) and Vikas Sharma (20th) but Delhi Waveriders made a brilliant recovery with drag-flicker Andrew Hayward (27th) and Talwinder Singh (59th) finding the target as the two teams split points at the Kalinga Stadium.
The first quarter of the match saw both Kalinga Lancers and Delhi Waveriders in an attacking mode as both the sides tried to score the first goal in the match.
Yuvraj Walmiki of Delhi Waveriders made a good run into the opponents' D but failed to score the goal, Lucas Vila of Kalinga Lancers made a similar run but did not make any mistakes while firing in a field goal in the third minute of the game itself.
Kalinga Lancers dominated the first quarter as they penetrated Delhi Waveriders' striking circle more frequently, but goalkeeper Nicolas Jacobi with his perfect saves and athletic skills did not allow the home team to add any further goals.
Kalinga Lancers doubled their lead in the second quarter through the stick of Vikas Sharma in the 20th minute of the match. Delhi Waveriders rallied in a fine fashion and they earned a penalty corner in the 27th minute and drag-flicker Andrew Hayward's perfect strike reduced the margin.
The third quarter of the game saw a much calculated game coming in from both the sides as both Kalinga Lancers and Delhi Waveriders did well in attacking and defensive play.
Kalinga Lancers did manage to secure a penalty corner with just six minutes remaining on the clock for the third quarter to end, but failed to convert it into a goal.
'We are satisfied with the results'
The barren third quarter was followed by an action-packed fourth quarter that saw attacks and counter-attacks coming in from both the ends as both the teams went all out with their full strength.
Delhi Waveriders secured two penalty corners but failed to convert them into a goal. It was Talwinder Singh of Delhi Waveriders who sneaked in a goal in the dying minutes of the match with a deflection and helped his team level the scores 2-2.
Speaking on his team's performance Delhi Waveriders Head Coach Cedric D'souza said, "We are surprised to see Kalinga Lancers playing an aggressive game and the fact that they managed to keep the ball and rotate it among their players.
But by the end of the match we managed to implement our strategies and got back into the game. "We failed to materialize on penalty corner opportunities and even Kalinga Lancers goalkeeper Andrew Charter did a commendable job today.
We are satisfied with the results and we are looking forward to better our game in the upcoming matches," he said.
Kalinga Lancers Head Coach Jude Felix said, "We played a better game today as we stuck to the plan of keeping the ball possession with us. We managed to dominate the match but we failed to score more goals.
We could have won the match as we got an early lead in the game but in the fourth quarter the young players were seen playing with much anxiety which cost us the goal in the dying minutes.
"The team is improving with every match and today we showed a much better performance than our previous matches. We had to settle for an unfortunate result but the team is very much motivated for the matches ahead," he said.