Having won their first home match against Ranchi Rays on Thursday, Jaypee Punjab Warriors set out to play against table toppers Mumbai Dabangs in their second home match of the Hockey India League on Saturday. With Dutch player Van Der Weerden Mink putting the team in lead till the last minute of the match, fans were hoping for a second straight win at the Sector 42 stadium. But a field goal by Robert Kemperman in the last minute meant that Punjab faced their third loss of the season by 2-1.
“We have been supporting the team since the start of the league . And now Mink showed that whatever chances he gets, he will score. It was disheartening to see Mumbai score a field goal, in the last minute, but then that’s the rule for both the team. It was a close match and perhaps the best match of this season,” said Jugraj Gill, an aspiring hockey player from Ropar.
And with Dabang Mumbai featuring Punjab players like Harmanpreet Singh and Gurjant Singh, fans were also cheering for the Mumbai Dabang players. “We came from Jalandhar to see Punjab players like Harmanpreet and Gurjant Singh who were playing for the Mumbai team and Varun Kumar and Baljit Singh for Punjab Warriors. They impressed with their play in the Junior World Cup and playing along with players like Florian Fuchs in Mumbai team and Mark Knowles in the Punjab team will boost their confidence,” said Kanwaljeet Singh, a bank employee.