Captain Moritz Furste’s penalty corner brace powered Kalinga Lancers past Dabang Mumbai 4-1 in the final to clinch their maiden title in the Coal India Hockey India League (HIL) at the Chandigarh Hockey Stadium here on Sunday.
Furste also had a big hand in Glenn Turner’s deflection field goal in the 18th minute that gave Kalinga the 2-0 lead and Furste (30th and 59th) minutes scored either side of Affan Yousuf’s goal in the 33rd minutes as Kalinga atoned for their poor show in last edition’s final.
Mumbai seemed impressive from the beginning, holding the ball more than their opponent but they struggled to put the ball in the back of the net. Kalinga, who play an all-out attack game, drew the first blood as Australian Turner put a faint touch to a Furste drive as the ball slipped between the legs of a diving goalkeeper David Harte.
Mumbai’s response to the goal was quick and strong. They earned a penalty corner but Harmanpreet Singh’s flick was put away by Kalinga goalkeeper Andrew Charter. Then few seconds later, Florian Fuchs saw one of his back-handers from a tight angle going inches away from the far post at the right far post.
Mumbai were gaining momentum and German Fuchs, this time, from the right, fired a diagonal shot wide off the left post.
However, Kalinga got another opportunity and Furste drag-flicked to the right past Harte to give the eastern outfit a 3-0 lead 30 seconds before the half-time. It was the illustrious German’s 11th goal of the campaign.
However, Mumbai pulled one back as Yousuf deflected in a cross from Sander de Wijn, who pushed the ball in a penalty corner execution in the 33rd minute.
The goal boosted the confidence of Mumbai and since they have made a habit of making comebacks during the league phase, Kalinga knew it and defended with urgency.
Jay Stacy-coached Mumbai charged ahead for the equaliser and came close to pulling it off only to be denied by Charter, definitely one of the best players of the tournament.
Kieran Govers thought he equalised for Mumbai in the 57th minute in a goal-melee but the goal was reviewed by Kalinga and they kept their referral as the the Australian had brought down an aerial ball that was not aimed at the goal-post.
Ninety seconds later, Furste put the win for Kalinga beyond doubt with a blistering flick, to kill off the contest.