On the second day of the Hero Hockey India League 2015, the turf of Major Dhyan Chand Stadium in Lucknow witnessed a high voltage, neck-to-neck clash between the home team Uttar Pradesh Wizards and the Defending Champions Delhi Waveriders where the game ended in a draw, with a score of 2-2, confirming that the Uttar Pradesh Wizards’ team, this year, is here with a determination to give a tough fight to their opponents in the League.
After a goalless first quarter, the opening goal of the match was scored in the second quarter when Uttar Pradesh Wizards were awarded a penalty stroke and Jeroen Hertzberger made the most out of the opportunity as he successfully put the ball in the net. This gave the home team a much-needed lead of 1-0 over Delhi Waveriders. Not deterred by this pressure, Delhi Waveriders made a rapid comeback as Steven Edwards soon scored a leveller in the same quarter, breaching the sturdy guard of goalkeeper PR Sreejesh. Despite a number of attempts by both the teams, no further goals were scored as the half time closed in with a levelled score of 1-1 on the scoreboard.
Bringing a luminous stick work into play, the Defending Champions – Delhi Waveriders opened the third quarter with swift attacks while ensuring the ball remains in their possession but unfortunately the third quarter failed to yield results in either of the team’s favour. In the fourth quarter, Delhi Waveriders took lead in the game when Talwinder Singh sliced-in a beautiful field goal handing over the lead to the defending champions. Unfazed by this, the hosts managed to the level the score with another field goal that came from the stick of Ramandeep Singh of Uttar Pradesh Wizards.
Delhi Waveriders were awarded a penalty corner in the dying minutes of the match but they could not materialize the chance. At the blow of the final whistle, the score board showed an equivalent score of 2-2, declaring a draw for the teams.
Speaking on today’s match, Head Coach of Delhi Waveriders Cedric D’Souza said, “Every team is strong and with new players coming in they are getting stronger. It was a good game with fair result for both the teams.”
Commenting on the team’s performance, Delhi Waveriders Captain Sardar Singh said, “Delhi Waveriders have performed really well in the last two editions of the League and we want to continue the same spirit. We made a good start today but because of a few mistakes the match ended in a draw. We will work on our mistakes and perform better in the next match.”
Remarking on the day’s game, Captain of Uttar Pradesh Wizards, V R Raghunath said, “We wanted to win the game but couldn’t do that. We will surely rectify our loopholes. The start today was good but it was tough to play against the Champions. There was a bit of pressure but we eventually managed to tackle it.”
Content with his team’s show, Head Coach of Uttar Pradesh Roelant Oltmans said, “This is a new team so the competition was tough and we had to give our best performance against the Champions. Also, the pitch was difficult to play. Overall it was a good performance in terms of being the first match.”
Hero Goal of the Match – Talwinder Singh of Delhi Waveriders
Man of the Match – Ramandeep Singh of Uttar Pradesh Wizards
Delhi Waveriders: Steven Edwards (24 min), Talwinder Singh (49 min)
Uttar Pradesh Wizards: Jeroen Hertzberger (17 min), Ramandeep Singh (56 min)