Ranchi Rhinos dominated the game but in the end it was Akashdeep Singh’s 65th minute strike that proved decisive as Delhi Waveriders emerged 1-0 winners at home. While Delhi had already qualified for the semis, their sixth win of the tournament further extended their lead at the top.
There were a few clear opportunities in the first couple of quarters. Rhinos had a great chance to go ahead through their first PC in the 30th minute but the push wasn’t stopped cleanly. They also got two penalty corners in succession 10 minutes into the second half. But as it has been the story for the Rhinos in the match, they wasted both the opportunities. The absence of striker Mandeep Singh and midfielder Austin Smith (both injured) and the loss of drag flick expert Ashley Jackson in the last game obviously hurt. Delhi earned a PC of their own soon after in the 49th minute but Rupinderpal’s effort was palmed away by Rhinos keeper Fransisco Cortes.
The intense battle continued in the final quarter with both teams raiding each other’s citadel. It ultimately took a defensive error to separate the two teams. It came in the 65th minute when a Delhi attack from the central midfield got the ball to the top of the circle. Rhinos’ Kothajit was present but tripped as he attempted to stop the ball. Perfectly positioned for the opportunity in the center of the circle was Akashdeep Singh and the unmarked striker collected cleanly before striking the ball past a rushing Cortes to the right corner of the net.
Rhinos kept pushing and with a minute to go Moritz Fuertse only had to beat German compatriot Nicolas Jacobi in the goal but the latter was good enough to earn his side the points.
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