Mumbai: Jaypee Punjab Warriors once again dominated Mumbai Magicians in the Hockey India League Tournament by scoring their third win against the hosts with a 3-1 margin at the MHA Mahindra Stadium here on Jan 31.
In a fast-paced encounter, the Warriors ? who had beaten the Magicians 4-2 in their first leg clash at this venue and then 4-3 in the second meeting at home ? looked a better side in attack as well as defence, especially in the opening half, to emerge deserving winners.
Magicians down 1-3 at the beginning of the third quarter, forced three penalty corners but their main goal-getter, captain Sandeep Singh, who is the leading scorer in the league with 11 under his belt, was unable to score even once.
All the goals for the Warriors, who led 2-0 at half time, were field efforts and were notched by Dharamvir Singh (7th minute), Robert Hammond (22nd) and Malak Singh (52nd) while the lone goal for the Magicians which reduced the margin of the Warriors` lead to 2-1 was notched by Jonny Jasrotia with an indirect penalty corner effort in the 47th minute.
The ninth-round victory put Punjab on 25 points, still third in the table behind leaders Delhi Waveriders (34 points from 8 games) and Ranchi Rhinos (29 from 8) while their eighth defeat from nine encounters had the Magicians on 13, one point earned from today`s lost game.
For the Warriors, star forwards S V Sunil and Jamie Dwyer, the captain, combined very well up front with good feeds from the likes of Dharamvir Singh and Ignace Tirkey.
The deep defense of the visitors was also very good with the likes of Mark Knowles and Tirkey showing calm demeanour in clearing the ball and their man-to-man marking was also effective, especially in the opening half when they had the clear edge.
The first quarter saw the Warriors virtually pitching the tent in the rival half and but for some good defending by the Magicians, especially by goalkeeper P R Sreejesh, the home team citadel would have fallen much earlier than when it did in the 7th minute.
The goal was a product of some loose defending by the Magicians who allowed a diagonal hit from the left flank to come to Sreejesh and the deflection from his pads was pouched upon by Dharamvir who scored from 8 yards out.
Punjab changed their goalkeeper by replacing Bharat Chetri with Jacob Stockmann very early in the game.