HIL Hockey

Uttar Pradesh Wizards make it to the last four

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Final league match ends in 4-4 draw

Uttar Pradesh Wizards confirmed its place as the last team in the semifinals of the fifth Hockey India League (HIL) after finishing with a 4-4 draw against table-topper Dabang Mumbai in its and the season’s last league match here on Wednesday.

The result put UPW third on the table, level on points with Delhi Waveriders but ahead on goal difference, and it would take on last year’s runner-up Kalinga Lancers in the semifinals. Mumbai will play Delhi in the other semifinal on Saturday.

UPW had to lose by a margin of 10 goals or more for Ranchi Rays, the third team on 23 points, to have any hope of advancing but once it was clear that was not to be, both teams seemed to be content trying out their personnel and variations instead of going for a victory.

Repeated shots at the goal in the 11th minute from UPW’s Ramandeep and Yadav saw the latter get one in from an acute angle after being put through by Raghunath.

UPW again went ahead in the 17th minute when Ramandeep, getting the ball from Raghunath, slapped a backhand shot in.

Mumbai, though, did not sit back, content to finish on top of the table. Jay Stacy’s team built its chances around counters and came back with a leveller within two minutes on both occasions.

While Gurjant Singh took advantage of an out-of-position P.R. Sreejesh in the 13th minute, Manpreet Singh made use of a wrong-footed, unsighted Sreejesh to score in the 19th.

The result: Uttar Pradesh Wizards 4 (Ajay Yadav 2 FG, Ramandeep Singh 2 FG) drew with Dabang Mumbai 4 (Gurjant Singh 2 FG, Manpreet Singh 2 FG).

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 8:28:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/hockey/Uttar-Pradesh-Wizards-make-it-to-the-last-four/article17348588.ece

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