UP Wizards register 2nd win on trot, beat Punjab 3-0
Uttar Pradesh Wizards defeated Jaypee Punjab Warriors 3-0 to register their second consecutive win and get their campaign back on track in the fourth edition of the Hockey India League, here on Thursday.
After barren opening two quarters, striker Akashdeep Singh finally scored a fine field goal in the 44th minute to break the deadlock before Argentine Gonzalo Peillat (60th) converted a penalty corner in the final minute of the match to script the win for the visitors.
It was a hard fought battle between the two sides in the opening two quarters with both sides creating scoring chances.
But it was the UP Wizards who finally capitalised on their chances in the 44th minute when Akashdeep scored with a fine finish after he was fed by Mezzli from a counter attack. The goal ensured a 2-0 lead for UP Wizards as according to new scoring rules introduced in HIL this year one field goal is counted as two.
Punjab Warriors had their chances which included four penalty corners, two of which came in the last quarter, but they lacked the firepower to convert the opportunities into goals.
UP Wizards sealed the match in their favour in the final minute when Peillat found the back of the net with a fierce dragflick to disappoint the hosts, whose captain Sardar Singh has been embroiled in a off-field controversy after an Indian origin British hockey player has filed sexual harassment charges against the India skipper in a Ludhiana police station.
With this win, the UP Wizards are now placed fifth in the points table with 17 points from six games, while the Waveriders are placed a rung ahead with same points from as many games.
UP Wizards will next host Dabang Mumbai at Lucknow on Saturday, while Punjab Warriors will travel to Bhubaneswar to face Kalinga Lancers on Sunday.