10th February, 2016, Lucknow: After four consecutive losses on their home ground the Uttar Pradesh Wizards finally broke the jinx, as they celebrated their solitary win on home turf defeating Jaypee Punjab Warriors 4-1 today. Incidentally this was also the last home game for the Wizards, who were playing their eighth match of the 4th Coal India Hockey India League today at the Major Dhyanchand Hockey Stadium, Lucknow. With this win Uttar Pradesh Wizards now jump to the third place of the 4th Coal India Hockey India League points table with 23 points to their kitty, keeping their hopes alive for a place in the semi-finals to be played in Ranchi on 20th February 2016.
The first quarter began with Jaypee Punjab Warriors pressing hard to take an upper hand in the match, but the hosts were well prepared to handle the pressure, not allowing the visitors any chances to score. Uttar Pradesh Wizards who have so far lost all their home games were playing carefully, but the visitors kept pressing hard and their efforts were finally rewarded through a penalty corner in the 10th minute. Mark Gleghorne from the Jaypee Punjab Warriors made no mistakes in converting the penalty corner giving the visitors an early lead of 1-0 in the match. The rest of the quarter saw Uttar Pradesh Wizards trying to equalise but Jaypee Punjab Warriors held on to their lead successfully. The second quarter saw Uttar Pradesh Wizards entering the field charged up and making a few good moves. Their efforts finally saw results as Argentine Gonazlo Peillat scored the equaliser through a penalty corner in the 19th minute. The second quarter thereafter was majorly played on the midfield, and came to an end with one goal to both the sides.
The Second half began with Uttar Pradesh Wizard entering the field charged up and that was visible through their attacking play. The hosts made some good moves and moved into the opponents circle and were awarded with another penalty corner within two minutes of play in the third quarter. Gonazlo Peillat made no mistakes in converting the penalty corner giving the hosts a much needed lead of 2-1 in the game. Uttar Pradesh Wizards seemed hungry for more and kept on pressing hard breaking through Jaypee Punjab Warriors defence line very often. After a series of unsuccessful attempts to score Uttar Pradesh Wizards finally scored again in the 43rd minute through a field goal from Agustin Mazilli, taking a comfortable lead of 4-1 in the game.
The final quarter of the match began with the energised Uttar Pradesh Wizards attacking to score. Most of the game now was taking place around the Jaypee Punjab Warriors circle but some missed traps and some good saves from Clemons Tristan ensured the hosts did not add on to their lead. The Warriors who looked tired, tried hard to score but could not find success in their endeavour. The match came to an end with Uttar Pradesh Wizards defeating Jaypee Punjab Warriors 4-1 in the 23rd match of the 4th Coal India Hockey India League.
The Coal India Goal of the Match award of INR 50,000 was presented by Ms. Shantilata Sahu, Director Personnel, NCL to Agustin Mazilli from Uttar Pradesh Wizards while team mate and Captain VR Raghunath walked away with the Most Entertaining Player of the Match award. Tobias Hauke from Uttar Pradesh Wizards won the Man of the Match award of INR 50,000 while his team mate Akashdeep Singh won the Hero Emerging Player of the Match award of INR 25,000.
The next match of the 4th edition of the Coal India Hockey India League will be played between Delhi Waveriders and league toppers Ranchi Rays at the Shivaji Stadium in New Delhi on the 11th February 2016.