They might have struggled for most part of the tournament but Dabur Mumbai Magicians drew curtains to their campaign in the second Hero Hockey India League in style, defeating Uttar Pradesh Wizards 3-2 to register their second consecutive win this year at the Dhyan Chand Hockey Stadium in Lucknow.
It was Dabur Mumbai Magicians second victory in the tournament this year after having defeated debutants Kalinga Lancers 3-2 in their previous match and thus pipped Kalinga Lancers to avoid wooden spoon in the tournament.
UP Wizards drew the first blood in the 22nd minute through lanky striker Nithin Thimmaiah who scored a field goal.
But Dabur Mumbai Magicians made a remarkable comeback and pumped in three goals to stun the hosts.
Gurjinder Singh level the scores for Dabur Mumbai Magicians by converting a penalty corner in the 31st minute before veteran Prabhjot Singh (56th minute) and captain Glenn Turner scored from field efforts within a span of six minutes to take a sizable lead.
The Wizards, however, reduced the margin of defeat a minute later when skipper V R Raghunath made use of a penalty corner.
By virtue of this win, Dabur Mumbai Magicians pocketed five points, finishing fifth in the six-team competition with 18 points from 10 games.
For Uttar Pradesh Wizards it was their fourth loss in HHIL 2014 and finished the league campaign with 28 points from 10 games.
UP Wizards will now travel to Ranchi for their semifinal fixture on Saturday.
In the last league match of HHIL 2014, defending champions Ranchi Rhinos will play Jaypee Punjab Warriors at Ranchi tomorrow.
YES Bank Garv Award winner – Nithin Thimmaiah
Man of the Match – Tim Deavin
Hero Goal of the Match Award – Glenn Turner
Speaking on the 2nd consecutive win Head Coach, MK Kaushik, Dabur Mumbai Magicians said “it was a great match today but with a few defense lapses, but the end is satisfying. From the start of the game we dominated the opponents but it was a slow start. The team has improved on its game with some good attack and defense”.
Speaking on today performance by the team Head Coach Roelant Oltmans, Uttar Pradesh Wizards said “today we started off well but we could not finish it with a win. Dabur Mumbai Magicians dominated the game today though we managed to score first. Semi-finals will be a completely different ball game and Delhi Waveriders is a good team”.