Kalinga Lost to Wizards in thriller to miss Semis

Uttar Pradesh Wizards defeated debutants Kalinga Lancers 4-3 in a high-scoring, entertaining league match to seal their place in the semifinals of the second edition of Hero Hockey India League (HHIL) at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, while the Odisha outfit will miss the place in final four.

Nikkin Thimmaiah of UP Wizards in action against Kalinga Lancers at Bhubaneswar during Hero Hockey India League 2014

Nikkin Thimmaiah of UP Wizards in action against Kalinga Lancers at Bhubaneswar during Hero Hockey India League 2014

In their must win match to stay alive in the tournament, Kalinga Lancers started on a bright note and dominated the early share of exchanges.

The hosts had the first shot at goal but centre forward Amir Khan fumbled with only the Uttar Pradesh Wizards goalkeeper George Bazeley to beat.

After a slow start, Uttar Pradesh Wizards soon came back and earned two penalty corners in succession but both the chances were wasted by visiting team captain V R Raghunath. Continue reading →

UP Wizards beat Kalinga Lancers 3-1 in HIL at Lucknow

Uttar Pradesh Wizards scored an easy 3-1 win over debutants Kalinga Lancers in a league match at the second edition of Hero Hockey India League (HHIL) in Major Dhyan Chand Hockey Stadium in Lucknow today.

Man-of-the-Match Nikkin Thimmaiah (UP Wizards) taking on Vickram Kanth (Kalinga Lancers) during the match

Man-of-the-Match Nikkin Thimmaiah (UP Wizards) taking on Vickram Kanth (Kalinga Lancers) during the match

UP Wizards scored two goals in the first two quarters while their third goal came just seconds from the final hooter.

Skipper V R Raghunath gave UP Wizards the lead in the 17th minute by converting a penalty corner before young striker Nikkin Thimmaiah doubled the home team’s lead in the 41st minute with a field strike.

Kalinga Lancers, however, pulled a goal back in the 59th minute through their star drag-flicker Gonzalo Peillat who found the back of UP Wizards net from a penalty corner to raise his team’s hopes.

UP Wizards, however, managed to hold on to their lead with some stout defending. Continue reading →

Delhi Waveriders Edge Past UP Wizards in a thrilling match at HIL

Continuing their impressive run in the second edition of Hero Hockey India League (HHIL), Delhi Waveriders defeated hosts Uttar Pradesh Wizards 4-3 in a high-scoring thrilling league match to extend their lead at the top of the points table at the Major Dhyan Chand Hockey Stadium in Lucknow today.

Delhi Waveriders celebrating one of their goal against Uttar Pradesh Wizards during Hero Hockey India League 2014

Delhi Waveriders celebrating one of their goal against Uttar Pradesh Wizards during Hero Hockey India League 2014

The match was expected to a be an exciting affair, especially after the two teams finished 1-1 in their previous encounter in New Delhi and it turned out to be one as it rained goals throughout the entire 70 minutes, much to the delight of the spectators.

The Sardar Singh-led Delhi Waveriders outfit, which finished runners-up in the inaugural HHIL last year, showed exactly why they were considered as one of the pre-tournament favorites and pumped in as many as four goals in the opening 20 minutes to stun Uttar Pradesh Wizards and their home fans. Continue reading →

Waveriders play 1-1 Draw with Wizards to reach Top Spot

Runners-up of inaugural edition, Delhi Waveriders played a 1-1 draw with Uttar Pradesh Wizards to split points and reached top position in points table of the second edition of the Hero Hockey India League (HHIL) at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi today.

SK Uthappa of Uttar Pradesh Wizards and Arjun Halappa of Delhi Waveriders in action during Hero Hockey India League 2014 in New Delhi

SK Uthappa, who scored equalizer for Uttar Pradesh Wizards, and Arjun Halappa of Delhi Waveriders in action during Hero Hockey India League 2014 in New Delhi

It was a match of equals, throughout the entire 70 minutes both the teams struggled to get clear inroads into the rival citadel and had to be satisfied with two points apiece.

After a relatively quiet and actionless first quarter, Delhi Waveriders drew the first blood in the 23rd minute. An unmarked Yuvraj Walmiki pushed the ball home from close range after being set up by Simon Child’s fine work from the right flank and along the goal-line.

In the second quarter, there was hardly anything to differentiate between the two sides in terms of performance on the turf but Delhi Waveriders utilised the chance that came their way. Continue reading →

UP Wizards and Punjab Warriors play 1st Draw of HIL 2014

Uttar Pradesh Wizards and Jaypee Punjab Warriors finished 2-2 at full-time to register the first draw of the second edition of Hero Hockey India League (HHIL) at the Dhyan Chand Stadium in Lucknow today.

Jaap Stockmann (Jaypee Punjab Warriors) during a diving save against Uttar Pradesh Wizards in Hero Hockey India League 2014 at Lucknow

Man-of-the-Match-Jaap Stockmann (Goalkeeper of Jaypee Punjab Warriors) during a diving save against Uttar Pradesh Wizards in Hero Hockey India League 2014 at Lucknow

It was a free-flowing contest between two evenly matched teams. The game was a treat for the fans of the game as both the sides produced some thrilling end-to-end hockey.

Even though the UP Wizards had the better share of ball possession, there was very little to differentiate between the two sides.

The goalkeepers of both UP Wizards ( George Bazeley) and Jaypee Punjab Warriors (Jaap Sotckmann) had a busy day in office as the two teams played attacking hockey throughout the entire 70 minutes. Continue reading →

Ranchi Rhinos beat UP Wizards at Lucknow in HIL

Ranchi Rhinos‘ captain Moritz Fürste lead from front in 2-1 win over UP Wizards at the Hero Hockey India League 2014, which was witnessed by Honorable CM of Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav.

Ranchi Rhinos' captain Moritz Fürste in action UP Wizards during Hero Hockey India League 2014 at Lucknow

Man-of-the-Match and Ranchi Rhinos’ captain Moritz Fürste in action UP Wizards during Hero Hockey India League 2014 at Lucknow

The first match in Lucknow of the Hero Hockey India League 2nd edition also saw King of Bhangra, Daler Mehndi performing on his hit numbers during the opening ceremony.

The Rhinos were by far the better side on display as they dominated the match from the start to finish. The visitors had the better share of ball possession, enjoying 56 per cent of the possession as against Wizards’ 44 percent. Continue reading →