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HIL 2016 – Punjab suffer second home defeat against resurgent UP Wizards

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HIL 2016 – Punjab suffer second home defeat against resurgent UP Wizards

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Arun S Kaimal

02/04/2016

The Uttar Pradesh Wizards today stunned hosts, Punjab Warriors defeating them 3-0 in a hard-fought game. The match, which was being played in Chandigarh today, saw the Wizards winning their second consecutive game after defeating Delhi Waveriders a few days back. With this win the Uttar Pradesh Wizards are now placed fifth, with 17 points, in the table of the Hockey India League.

Hosts, Jaypee Punjab Warriors started on an attacking note trying to penetrate into the opponents circle, but a brilliant defence line coupled with superb goalkeeping from PR Sreejesh ensured that the hosts could not convert any of their attempts.  

The goalless first half saw a lot of the game being played in the midfield. While both the sides had close chances to score in the first half but top class goalkeeping and excellent defence on both sides ensured no conversions.

The third quarter began on a similar note with both the teams playing a lot in the midfield. Uttar Pradesh Wizards however tried pressing hard through some classy passes but the hosts displayed their skills time and again to deny the visitors any opportunities to score. However the visitor's perseverance to attack in the Punjab circle finally saw results when a clever deflection from Akashdeep Singh in the last few seconds of the penultimate quarter gave Uttar Pradesh Wizards a hard fought lead of 2-0 in the game. 

The fourth quarter began with hosts, Jaypee Punjab Warriors desperately trying to find their feet back in the game, but the Uttar Pradesh Wizards seemed in no mood to give any chances to them. Uttar Pradesh Wizards continued their attack and their efforts saw results in the final minute of the game when Gonzalo Peillat made no mistakes in converting a penalty corner, finishing the match with a 3-0 win over Jaypee Punjab Warriors. This is the third win for the Uttar Pradesh Wizards and second consecutive win on the trot after a series of losses on their home ground. Interestingly all the wins for Uttar Pradesh Wizards so far have come from away matches.

The Coal India Goal of the Match award of INR 50,000 was presented by Mr. BK Upadhyay, Regional Sales Manager, Coal India Limited to Akashdeep Singh from Uttar Pradesh Wizards, while team mate Ramandeep Singh walked away with the Most Entertaining Player of the Match award. SV Sunil from Jaypee Punjab Warriors won the Man of the Match award of INR 50,000 and his team mate Armaan Qureshi won the INR 25,000 Hero Emerging Player of the Match award.

The next match of the 4th Coal India Hockey India League will be played between Kalinga Lancers and Delhi Waveriders at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium, Bhubaneshwar on 5th February, 2016. The six team annual franchise based hockey league, the flagship event of Hockey India - the apex body governing the sport in the country and sanctioned by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) is being played across six venues in India from 18th January - 21st February 2016

Report courtesy HIL media.

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