Jaypee Punjab Warriors outclassed defending champions Delhi Waveriders by 2-0 to set-up summit clash against Ranchi Rays in Hero Hockey India League 2015 . In the first semi final, Ranchi Rays defeated Uttar Pradesh Wizards by 9-8 in sudden death shoot-out to reach finals.
Playing for the second spot in final, Jaypee Punjab Warriors met the defending champions Delhi Waveriders in the second semi-final, which was repeat of last edition’s final, where Delhi team emerged winners. Jaypee Punjab Warriors dominated the entire match giving no chance to Delhi Waveriders to bounce back. With two goals to nil, Jaypee Punjab Warriors enter the Finals of Hero Hockey India League and will play Ranchi Rays tomorrow.
Just two minutes into the game Punjab Warriors looking at scoring the initial goal got their first penalty corner and a chance to score. Taking the flick Sandeep Singh was wide of the goal and missed the opportunity. The next minute getting their second penalty corner, Sandeep Singh ensured he beat the Delhi goalie and find the net to score for his team. Not allowing pressure to get the better of them, Delhi Waveriders attacked and earned their first penalty corner. Rupinder Singh looking at equalizing but missed converting it as Jaap had no difficulty in clearing. Continuing their attack on Delhi, the Warrriors bagged their third penalty corner of the game in the 13th minute but they missed in doubling the lead. With the quarter ending Jaypee Punjab Warriors was leading 1-0.
The second quarter witnessed the defence of both the teams giving a tough time to the attacks of the opponents. While both teams attacked and penetrated, the quarter ended goalless and Jaypee Punjab Warriors was leading 1-0 at the end of first half.
Entering the third quarter Jaypee Punjab Warriors continued their pressure on Delhi Waveriders, by doubling their score in the 35th minute which came from the stick of Agustin Mazzilli leaving Nicolas Jacobi stunned. Delhi Waveriders going on the attack got their second penalty corner in the 38th minute but Rupinder Singh failed to control the ball and in the process giving time to the defence to save easily. Continuing their pressure on the defence of Waveriders, Jaypee Punjab Warriors bagged another penalty corner just five minute for the quarter to end but missed to capitalize.
Right into the fourth quarter Delhi Waveriders looking at opening their score penetrated the D of Jaypee Punjab Warriors and Matt Gohdes trying to convert hit hard, but was cleared by Jaap Stockmann. Looking at adding one more goal to the team’s tally, speed demon SV Sunil made a solo run with the ball towards the semicircle of Delhi Waveriders but Rupinder Pal Singh defended well, ensuring that the former doesn’t get the opportunity to score. Just two minutes left in the game to end, Delhi Waveriders looking at accelerating their attack replaced Nicolas Jacobi with an extra player, but unfortunately for them they were unable to open the score resulting in Jaypee Punjab Warriors winning the match 2-0 and will be playing Ranchi Rays tomorrow at the Finals.
Man of the Match for the game, Jaap Stockmann, Jaypee Punjab Warriors said “I give my best when I am under the bar and the great efforts from my team made the job easier today. The focus from here is to put up a winning strategy for tomorrow’s game. We are hopeful of winning the title tomorrow.”
Speaking on the performance Head Coach Cedric D’Souza said “Jaypee Punjab Warriors were a better team today as they controlled the play throughout. Though we had our opportunities but Jaap Stockmann stood tall and restricted us. For tomorrow we will look at ending the League with a win.”
Hero Goal of the Match – Agustin Mazzilli, Jaypee Punjab Warriors
Man of the Match – Jaap Stockmann, Jaypee Punjab Warriors
Finals – February 22, 2015, New Delhi
3rd Place Play Off – 16:30hrs IST – Uttar Pradesh Wizards vs Delhi Waveriders
Finals – 19:00hrs IST – Ranchi Rays vs Jaypee Punjab Warriors
The matches will be telecast LIVE on Star Sports