Mumbai: Defending champions Ranchi Rhinos rode on Justin Reid Ross’ solitary strike to pip Dabur Mumbai Magicians 1-0 in a tamely contested match in the second edition of the Hockey India League (HIL), on Sunday.
In another match, Uttar Pradesh Wizards coasted to comfortable 3-1 win over debutants Kalinga Lancers and jumped to the third position, in Lucknow.
Ross found the back of the net with a blistering field goal after being fed by Moritz Furste to open the account for the visitors in the 11th minute.
Barring the goal, it was a drab first half as both the teams took time to get their footing in the match and there was not much action.
UP Wizards, meanwhile, scored two goals in the first two quarters while their third goal came just seconds from the final hooter.
Captain VR Raghunath gave Wizards the lead in the 17th minute by converting a penalty corner before young striker Nikkin Thimmaiah doubled the home team’s lead in the 41st minute with a field strike.
Kalinga Lancers, however, pulled a goal back in the 59th minute through drag-flicker Gonzalo Peillat who found the back of the Wizards net from a penalty corner to raise his team’s hopes.
The hosts, however, managed to hold on to their lead with some stout defending. They struck in the final minute of the game when legendary Dutchman Teun de Nooijer scored a field goal to seal the match in his side’s favour.
The win gave Wizards five points, which enabled them to jump to the third position with 21 points from seven games.
Speaking on the performance of the team, Wizards coach Roelant Oltmans, said, “It’s a happy moment for us today as we have finally won our first match on home ground. Today we started with an advantage and scored two quick goals which helped boost our morale.”