Uttar Pradesh Wizards hand thumping defeat to Kalinga Lancers in HIL
Special first win for the Wizards
The Uttar Pradesh Wizards took time in registering their first win, but they recorded it in style by handing a 5-1 defeat to the Kalinga Lancers at Dhyan Chand Sports College, Lucknow. Uttar Pradesh completely dominated the game and displayed an all-round performance en route to a thumping win in the Hockey India League today.
It was a complete one-way traffic in the match, as the Lancers barely tested UP’s goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, who spent most his time as a spectator. The Lancers failed to breach Uttar Pradesh’s defence and walked out without a point from the game, as the difference was of more than two goals.
Great start for Uttar Pradesh
The Wizards opened the scoring in the fifth minute of the match, when VR Raghunath make no mistake in firing a dragflick past goalkeeper Harjot Singh. After racing to an early lead, it looked like Uttar Pradesh will run away with the game, but it didn’t happen until the final quarter.
In next two quarters, despite making some good moves, the Wizards couldn’t find the net and held a slender lead until the final 15 minutes of play, which witnessed five goals - four from Uttar Pradesh and one from Kalinga.
The goal drought was finally ended in the 53rd minute when SK Uthappa made no mistake in finishing a weighted ball from Nikkin Thimmaiah into the net. A minute later, Uttar Pradesh found their third goal through Dutchman Bob de Voogd.
On a ball driven into the D took a deft touch off De Voogd’s stick to beat Harjot and went into the goal. Movements later, another Dutch player, Wouter Jolie made it 4-0 in favour of the hosts, who looked to be on a riot.
Lancers managed a consolation goal in the last quarter
Australian Russell Ford scored a consolation goal for the Lancers in the 55th minute when he managed to beat Sreejesh on a nice turning shot. There was, however, no anti-climax as it was the only goal for the visitors in the match.
Uttar Pradesh scored the final goal on a penalty stroke when Jeroen Hertzberger send goalkeeper the wrong way. Earlier, the Wizards were given back-to-back penalty corners in the final couple of minutes but they failed to make use of them.