Already assured of a semifinal berth, defending champions Ranchi Rays today registered their fifth straight victory on the home turf, beating Dabang Mumbai 1-0 here.
Yet another clinical performance by Ranchi Rays helped them consolidate their position at the top of the table with 37 points.
The first half of the match saw both the teams matching each other in every move before the home team started to dominate. But Mumbai also kept an impeccable defensive line to deny the Ranchi a clear shot at the goal.
Desperate to break the defensive deadlock, Ranchi Rays began to attack more in the second quarter but failed to breach Mumbai’s defense line.
The two teams went into the half-time at 0-0.
The breakthrough came five minutes into the third quarter with a penalty corner conversion by the Ranchi Rays captain Ashley Jackson.
Dabang Mumbai launched an all-out attack thereafter in order to score an equaliser but could not penetrate the Ranchi defence.
The golden opportunity for Mumbai came in the 44th minute when they got a penalty corner chance but it was brilliantly saved by the Ranchi Rays goalkeeper Tyler Lovell.
The score at the end of third quarter was 1-0 in favour of Ranchi Rays.
The home team continued to keep the possession and even though Mumbai dominated the play at the final moments of the
match, making regular circle penetrations, they failed to convert any of their opportunities. They also wasted two penalty corner chances to go down in the end.