After recording season’s first win, upbeat Dabang Mumbai will host Uttar Pradesh Wizards on their home ground, Mahindra Hockey Stadium, Mumbai tomorrow (11th February, full schedule here) in ongoing Hero Hockey India League 2015.
With the Hero Hockey India League 2015 entering the second phase, the teams are now expected to play more intensely with an eye on the knockouts. While Dabang Mumbai will play to claim its second win post their convincing win over Kalinga Lancers in their last outing, Uttar Pradesh Wizards will be looking at getting back to their winning ways post their recent defeat against Ranchi Rays.
Coached by Valentin Altenburg, Dabang Mumbai’s quest for a win came to an end as they carved out a maiden victory against Kalinga Lancers, defeating the latter 2-1. The team herewith kept their hopes afloat by gliding ahead of Kalinga Lancers on the points table and claiming the fifth place. This win also allowed them to close the points gap between themselves and Delhi Waveriders. From here Dabang Mumbai’s fight will be against Delhi Waveriders on the points table with both looking at winning all their remaining matches and making it to the semi-finals. In the last clash against Dabang Mumbai what came out positive for Valentin Altenburg was that his team continued their good form in the second half too, which was missing in the initial matches. With Harmanpreet Singh in top form, the team will be looking at claiming short corners and leaving it to the young player to convert. Also Glen Turner and his ability to beat the opponents defence will play a big role against the Uttar Pradesh Wizards.
On the other hand, Uttar Pradesh Wizards which has played seven matches till now, winning three and losing three will aim to pocket another win so as to gain position in the points table. Going down to Ranchi Rays 0-1 in the last match, Uttar Pradesh Wizards are confident of making a comeback in the next match against Dabang Mumbai. Coached by Roelant Oltmans, the team will look forward to the ace-defender VR Raghunath who has to its credit a total of four goals and will be providing the much required support to his side. With PR Sreejesh under the bar, it will not be an easy task for the opponents to go past him.
Expecting a good performance in tomorrow’s match, Head Coach of Dabang Mumbai Valentin Altenburg said, “We are pretty confident on our comeback with our recent win against Kalinga Lancers. Tom Boon and Harmanpreet Singh are the players the team will be majorly depending on as both of them have been very consistent throughout the league, showcasing their drag flicking skills to rattle the ball in the opponent’s D. Also, we have worked on our defense strategies in order to restrict the opponents from scoring. Of course, we hope to continue our winning spree in front of our home crowd tomorrow.”
Anticipating a good game tomorrow, Head Coach of Uttar Pradesh Wizards Roelant Oltmans said, “We are looking forward to a great game tomorrow. We just need to score one more win to make our place in the semi-finals. Our aim will be to perform the way we did with Jaypee Punjab Warriors. Although, we had few tough games with Ranchi Rays, we are hopeful of learning from the mistakes committed and are confident of playing our best tomorrow and putting up a fantastic show.”
Uttar Pradesh Wizards will take on Dabang Mumbai tomorrow at Mumbai at 1900 HRS IST The match will be telecast LIVE on Star Sports