- Outclass Dabang Mumbai 5-1
Mumbai, 11 February 2015: With Jaypee Punjab Warriors and Ranchi Rays having already reached the semi finals of Hero Hockey India League 2015, it was Uttar Pradesh Wizards that sealed its place in the semis after knocking-out Dabang Mumbai. The brilliant play by the Roelant Oltmans coached Uttar Pradesh Wizards throughout the game helped them outwit Dabang Mumbai and win the match 5-1.
With equal possession in the first quarter and with equal circle penetration, both teams put pressure on each other in the entire first session by attacking their business side of the field. Sharp saves from both the goalkeepers enhanced the defence, averting all scoring opportunities and kept the scores 0-0 till the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter saw equal fervor and an attempt on goal by VR Raghunath in the 15th minute was missed by Gunasekar as he was unable to complete the touch. Finally, in the 27th minute, Ramandeep Singh received a pass in the D and he without losing cool successfully beat three players and goalkeeper to score a brilliant field goal. The goal saw Uttar Pradesh Wizards opening their account and leading the game 1-0. The very next minute, Dabang Mumbai earned a penalty corner. Tom Boon took the flick hit straight at the rushing VR Raghunath who saved it for the team. Next minute it was Uttar Pradesh Wizards chance on the penalty corner but Raghunath was wide of the goal. With no further goals scored the second half score stood at 1-0 with the Wizards leading.
The third session saw goals coming in quick successions with Uttar Pradesh Wizards adding their second goal in the 34th minute coming from the stick of NikkinThimmaiah who ensured that a good pass by Ramadeep Singh in front of the goal was not wasted. Uttar Pradesh Wizards struck again in the 42nd minute when Bob de Voogd rushing to the D of the opponents hit hard through a brilliant reverse stick giving no reaction time to Adrian D’souza to stop the ball. The next minute trying to convert their penalty corner opportunity, Dabang Mumbai’s Jeremy Hayward scored on a rebound giving his team their first goal and taking the score to 3-1 with the Wizards leading. In the 45th minute another reverse stick work in the D by Bob de Voogd added the fourth goal to the tally for UP Wizards and the third quarter ended with 4-1 on the scoreboard.
Continuing their onslaught, Uttar Pradesh Wizards added the fifth goal for the team. VR Raghunath ensured he converted the penalty corner in the 51st minute and widening the goal difference further. Next minute Dabang Mumbai got another opportunity to score through a short corner, but Tom Boon yet again missed the opportunity. With no further goals scored in the rest of the quarter, the game with Uttar Pradesh Wizards winning 5-1 and sealing their place in the semi-finals of the Hero Hockey India League 2015.
Head Coach Roelant Oltmans, Uttar Pradesh Wizards said “The team performed brilliantly today. We aim to win the rest of the matches. We are due to meet Dabang Mumbai in Lucknow and hope we continue this form with them in our next match. I am happy the way we scored all the goals today. From here we will focus on not conceding penalty corners to the opponents. ”
Speaking on the team’s performance Valentin Altenburg, Head Coach, Dabang Mumbai said “It was a disappointing match today. Our defence was very poor today and we did not capitalize on the opportunities. We will aim at playing better in the rest of the matches.”
Hero Goal of the Match – Ramandeep Singh, Uttar Pradesh Wizards
Man of the Match – Bob De Voogd, Uttar Pradesh Wizards
February 12, 2015, 19.00hrs IST – Kalinga Lancers vs Delhi Waveriders (Bhubaneswar)
The match will be telecast LIVE on Star Sports