UP Wizards, Delhi Waveriders share honours in pulsating HIL encounter
HIL at its very best
It was a pulsating game of hockey, between the defending champions Delhi Waveriders and Uttar Pradesh Wizards, which ended in a 2-2 draw at the Dhyan Chand Sports College, Lucknow.
The second match of the Hockey India League (HIL) wasn’t a goal feast, like the tournament opener between Kalinga Lancers and Ranchi Rays, but the crowd present at the stadium was thoroughly entertained by the speed and skills of both teams.
Delhi went into the contest as favorites but faced stiff competition from the home side. Both teams tried to get on the scoresheet in the first quarter but couldn’t convert the half-chances that came their way. The opening quarter ended goalless.
The second quarter, however, was much more entertaining and witnessed goal from either teams. Jeroen Hertzberger broke the deadlock for the Wizards when the hosts were awarded a penalty stroke.
Hertzberger made no mistake in slotting the ball past goalkeeper and put the home-team up in the 16th minute. The defending champions continued to search the equalizer and managed to bring the game on level terms in the 23rd minute.
Steven Edwards scored the equalizer for the visitors and ensured that the game remains even-steven at the halftime. The Waveriders also defended a penalty corner few minutes later.
Both teams kept searching for the goal in the third quarter but couldn’t find it and missed a number of scoring opportunities. The penalty corners went begging and so does the sharp chances. The third quarter ended at 1-1.
Dramatic fourth quarter
It was the final 15 minutes of the games that kept the fans at their toes as both teams displayed some brilliant hockey. Talwinder Singh scored for the visiting team in the 49th minute to make it 2-1. Talwinder managed to finish the chance that the Waveriders started on a counterattack.
Just when the Waveriders seemed to be heading home with all points from the tie, the Wizards found the equalizer minutes before the hooter. Ramandeep Singh leveled the match for the Wizards in the 56th minute of the rubber. The Wizards also survived two straight penalty corners to share honours with Delhi.