Uttar Pradesh Wizards trounce Mumbai

Uttar Pradesh Wizards trounce Mumbai

Uttar Pradesh Wizards trounce Mumbai

Uttar Pradesh Wizards trounced Dabang Mumbai 5-1 to take a firm step towards the semifinals of the Hero Hockey India League at the Mahindra Stadium here on Wednesday.

Dutch midfielder Bob de Voogd scored two brilliant reverse-hit field goals in quick succession (42nd and 45th minutes) for the winners, who rode roughshod over the home team after the first quarter.

The winners’ remaining goals were notched by India internationals Ramandeep Singh (26th; the account opener), Nikkin Thimmaiah (34th) and V R Raghunath  (50th). The lone goal for the home team came off the stick of Australian Jeremy Hayward off an indirect penalty corner conversion — the fourth set-piece award out of a total of eight earned — in the 44th minute of play.

Their fourth win in eight games helped UP take their tally to 25 points with two games in hand, against Mumbai again at Lucknow on February 15 and against holders Delhi Waveriders on February 18.

Mumbai, who suffered their fourth loss from seven games, failed to get any from the match and remained on 12 points — their qualifying hopes severely dented by the humiliating loss though they have three away games in hand.

Mumbai started on a storming note, creating openings with blistering runs down the right flank in the opening quarter, but they lost steam in the second as UP settled down to have more say in the match.

The Mumbai defence also leaked aplenty which was taken full advantage of by the speedy set of UP forwards, especially by Dutchman de Voogd.

The visiting team, who were third in the table going into their eighth league game, started attacking more from the second quarter and reaped rich rewards as they took a 3-0 lead before the home team reduced the margin.

But they had to wait for the opening goal as India defender V R Raghunath moved on the right and squared the ball across the goalmouth with Mumbai goalkeeper David Harte unable to cut it off, but the pass went waste with nobody there to deflect it home.

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