Hosts Ranchi Rays produced a clinical performance to defeat Dabang Mumbai 1 - 0 in a Coal India Hockey India League (HIL) match here on Sunday.
Ranchi captain Ashley Jackson scored the decisive goal in the 50th minute. The Rays have thus extended their lead at the top of the table to 37 points with their fifth straight win on home turf.
Defending champions Ranchi looked confident on their home ground as they started making strong moves but Mumbai kept an impeccable defensive line to deny the Ranchi Rays a clear shot at the goal.
Mumbai pressed hard at the end of the first quarter but the pressure could not be converted into a goal. The first quarter ended with the score at 0 - 0.
The second quarter started with the Ranchi Rays attacking to break the defensive deadlock but Ranchi was unable to break the Mumbai defense line.
The last part of the first quarter saw a lot of the game in the midfield and the half ended with the score at 0 - 0. The third quarter was a similar story with both the teams going neck to neck.
The breakthrough finally came at five minutes into the third quarter thanks to a penalty corner conversion by Jackson. Mumbai started attacking in order to search for an equalizer but none of the attacks were able to penetrate the Ranchi defense.
The golden opportunity for Mumbai came in the 44th minute through a penalty corner but it was beautifully saved by the Ranchi goalkeeper Tyler Lovell. The score at the end of third quarter stood at 1 - 0 in favour of Ranchi.
The fourth quarter started with the Mumbai team looking desperate for a goal but the Ranchi Rays started controlling possession.
Mumbai got an opportunity through back to back penalty corners but Tyler Lovell continued to refuse to be beaten.
Mumbai dominated the play for the last moments of the fourth quarter making regular circle penetrations but none of the shots could get through the tall figure of Tyler Lovell.
Mumbai failed got two penalty corner opportunities in the closing moments of the match but Mumbai failed to convert. The match ended with a win for the Ranchi Rays 1 - 0.
The goal of the match award went to Ashley Jackson from Ranchi Rays, while his teammate Daniel Beale won the most entertaining player of the match award.
Kothajit Singh from Ranchi Rays walked away with the man of the match award while Affan Yousuf from Mumbai won emerging player of the match award.