Magicians desperate for a win

Winless Mumbai Magicians will take on fourth-placed Uttar Pradesh Wizards in their third home game in the Hockey India League (HIL) at the MHA Mahindra Stadium here on Wednesday.

The first leg clash between these two bottom-placed teams, perhaps, offers the best chance for the struggling hosts to break their seven-game losing streak and increase their points tally to 12.
Their return leg is also scheduled at the same venue here on February 5.

It has been tough going for the Ric Charlesworth-coached Mumbai in the five-team league so far, first with four Pakistani recruits having to return home without playing a game and the new-look outfit wobbling its way.

The latest loss, by 1-2 margin to Ranchi Rhinos in their away game on Monday, has dented their hopes of entering the semifinals further.

However, Mumbai have picked up a point in each of their seven losses so far which has kept their chances alive, although by a narrow margin.

“Although we have been trying really hard, we lose our games by a 1 or 2 goal margin. Our defence against Rhinos was much better and the team held the opposition at bay for a long period before they could break into our D,” Charlesworth had said after the team’s seventh straight defeat on Monday night.

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