HIL 2016 – Resurgent Mumbai stun UP Wizards in Lucknow
Major Dhyanchand Stadium, Lucknow today witnessed another loss for its home team Uttar Pradesh Wizards against Dabang Mumbai. The visitors who won their second consecutive match after a series of losses defeated Uttar Pradesh Wizards 2-1, with Johan Bjorkman scoring the winner in the first quarter.
Visitors, Dabang Mumbai . fresh from their stunning win in their last game, started their campaign on an attacking note. Dabang Mumbai played with a lot of confidence and their attacking game soon yielded results through a stunning field goal from Johan Bjorkman in the 8thminute giving the visitors an early lead of 2-0 over Uttar Pradesh Wizards. Wizards who have so far lost all their home games, came back strongly after this early jolt with a series of well-planned attacks but David Harte made no mistakes in foiling all attempts from the hosts to score.
Hosts, Uttar Pradesh Wizards kept pressing hard and were rewarded with a penalty corner in the 14th minute, which was duly converted by Argentine Gonzalo Peillat, helping Uttar Pradesh Wizard earn a much needed goal in the match. The Wizards now trailed Dabang Mumbai by a goal with the score board reading 1-2 in the visitors favour. The second quarter saw some spectacular moves from the forwards of both the teams but some extremely crucial saves from the goal keepers at both the ends ensure that the first half got over with the score board remaining unchanged at 1-2 in the favour of Dabang Mumbai .
The second half began with Dabang Mumbai pressing hard to capitalise on their lead, but some brilliant interceptions from the Wizards defensive line coupled with some outstanding saves from PR Sreejesh foiled all attempts from the visitors to score. In return today Dabang Mumbai showcased top class defence as some strong attacks from the hosts were successfully defended by the visitors. The rest of the match saw a lot of close chances but the goal keepers at both ends were in their top form denying either sides of a goal. This is the fourth consecutive loss for the Uttar Pradesh Wizards on their home turf.
With this win the Dabang Mumbai . now have 14 points in their kitty from six matches, and are currently placed at the bottom of the points tally for the 4th Coal Indioa Hockey India League.
The Coal India Goal of the Match award of INR 50,000 was presented by Mr. J Bagchi, Chief Manager Finance, Coal India Limited to Johan Bjorkman from Dabang Mumbai ., while his team mate Affan Yousuf walked away with the Most Entertaining Player of the Match award. Matthew Swann from Dabang Mumbai . won the Man of the Match award of INR 50,000 and his team mate Gurjant Singh 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 Jaypee Punjab Warriors at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium, Bhubaneshwar on 7th 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.