Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Uttar Pradesh Wizards, Delhi Waveriders play out scratchy 1-1 draw

Uttar Pradesh Wizards rode on a late goal by SK Uthappa to hold last year runners-up Delhi Waveriders to a scratchy 1-1 draw in the 2nd Hero Hockey India League at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi.

The match was bereft of much excitement upfront as both teams were unable to create adequate scoring chances in the first half. Delhi Waveriders did manage to break the logjam when New Zealand striker Simon Child sprinted from the baseline and laid it to an unmarked Yuvraj Walmiki, who tapped home beating UP Wizards’ Aussie shot stopper George Bazeley all ends up.

The Wizards squandered an opportunity to draw level, but Australian Luke Doerner messed it up as Delhi led by a solitary goal at half-time. The Roelant Oltmans-coached UP outfit came close to restoring parity early in the third quarter when Ramandeep Singh unleashed a rasping shot, which was well saved by Nicolas Jacobi.

The Wizards nearly pulled things on an even kneel off their second short corner, but captain Vokkaliga Raghunath’s fierce drag-flick clipped Nicolas Jacobi’s left leg and trickled out even as the former banged the turf in frustration.

The Waveriders showed great commitment in defence with the likes of Surender Singh and in-form Gurbaj Singh bringing off two superb saves to thwart the Wizards.

Needing to equalize in the fourth quarter, the Wizards producer the match-needed equalizer in the 62nd minute when SK Uthappa churned out a superb reverse hit, which brooked no answer from Nicolas Jacobi.
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