Lucknow, 29 January 2015: Match IX of the ongoing Hero Hockey India League saw an awe-inspiring and spectacular game of hockey between the marvellous home team Uttar Pradesh Wizards and the talented Kalinga Lancers where the hosts defeated the visiting team by 5-1 today, at Major Dhyan Chand Stadium, Lucknow.
The first quarter of the game saw the home team being awarded with a penalty corner. V R Raghunath took the strike and without leaving any room for mistakes, very efficiently put the ball in the mesh. The ball swiftly passed through the sturdy guards of Kalinga Lancers’ goalkeeper Andrew Charter before touching the nets and announced an early lead of 1-0 for the Uttar Pradesh Wizards over Kalinga Lancers. Despite a number of scoring attempts by both the teams in the subsequent quarter, none could materialize the chances and the second quarter remained goal-less. The half time score was 1-0 with the home team in the lead.
Uttar Pradesh Wizards, with their brilliant man-to-man marking, were all over the Kalinga Lancers’ defence and maintained dominance in the game in the third quarter. Although no goals were scored in the third quarter, with some very good moves and maximum ball possession, the home team made their intentions of winning the game very loud and clear to the opponents.
The fourth quarter began on an exceptional high where Uttar Pradesh Wizards struck thrice within three minutes to soar up the score to 4-0, gaining insuperable lead over the Lancers. The second goal for the Wizards came from the stick of SK Uthappa, immediately followed by another field goal by Bob De Voogd and a quick next by Wouter Jolie. Russel Ford scored the lone goal for Kalinga Lancers in the dying moments of the game. Just before the final whistle, Uttar Pradesh Wizards got a penalty stroke and Jeroen Hertzberger flawlessly converted it into the fifth goal for the hosts, escalating the score to an insurmountable 5-1.
Speaking on today’s game, Coach of Kalinga Lancers, Jude Felix said, “It was a very disappointing performance today. We were in the game till the third quarter of the match but the fourth quarter changed the entire game. Few of our best defenders came out of the pitch within four – five minutes due to small injuries and that changed the entire scenario. We tried hard to come back in the game but the team was not in sync as there was lack of coordination.”
Remarking on the match, Kalinga Lancers Captain Vickram Kanth said, “We failed to restrict the strikers of the opponent team as our entire team was mostly playing in the midfield. There were opportunities that we missed in the match today. We will try and work on the mistakes and will deliver better results in the next match.”
Ecstatic on today’s win, Coach of Uttar Pradesh Wizards, Roelant Oltmans said, “It was really necessary for us to win the match today and I am glad that we succeeded in doing so. The team had a new captain in this match that turned out to be fruitful and I will keep rotating the captains in the future matches as well. This strategy seems to be working for us. The third edition of HHIL is much more competitive as compared to the last two editions as every team is playing fantastic hockey and I am certain that such tough competition will ultimately help the Indian players to play and improve their skills even further.”
New Captain of Uttar Pradesh Wizards, Wouter Jolie said, “This was a much needed win today as this is our first in the League till now. The team was in good shape today and performed well too. The second goal by the team really boosted the confidence of all of us. During the half time we discussed the strategies and decided to play with coordination along with team spirit and this turned out in a fantastic win today. Though I am satisfied with our performance today, there is still room for improvement.”
Hero Goal of the Match – Bob De Voogd.
Man of the Match – Wouter Jolie.
Uttar Pradesh Wizards: VR Raghunath (5 min), SK Uthappa (53 min), Bob De Voogd (54 min), Wouter Jolie (55 min), Jeroen Hertzberger (60 min)
Kalinga Lancers: Russel Ford (58 min)
30th January 2015 (New Delhi) – 1900 HRS IST: Delhi Waveriders vs. Jaypee Punjab Warriors