Waveriders notch up first victory

Mandeep Singh scored a brace in Delhi Waveriders’ dominating 8-1 victory over UP Wizards in the Hockey Indian League at the Shivaji stadium on Wednesday.

The hosts maintained fine balance between their attack and defence to raise to their first win of the season with the help of four field goals. The win helped Waveriders to move from the bottom of the table to the fifth place. Wizards, on the other hand, have slipped to the last position.

Waveriders were quick to go off the block. In the fourth minute, Mandeep in a speedy burst from the midfield grabbed the loose ball, stretched the Wizard’s defence inside the circle and smashed a reverse strike through the legs of PR Sreejesh to the back of the net.

It set the tone and tenor of the match with Waveriders attacking with vigour, and keeping things tight in defense. However, within ten minutes VR Raghunath led the Wizards’ fightback by converting a penalty corner with a powerful dragflick, and reduced the deficit to 2-1.

The hosts were lucky to survive when Wizards got another penalty corner and Raghunath’s accurate dragflick was swiftly cleared by goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch. Waveriders, however, clawed back in the contest when Mandeep (30th) scored again at the stroke of half time, through a goalmouth scramble, to extend the lead to 4-1.

The frantic efforts of the Wizards continued in the final quarter, before Waveriders put the matters beyond them by scoring back-to-back goals through sensational counter-attacks.

First, Parvinder Singh (56th) pounced on the pin-point release from Mandeep to strike the ball home, then Austin Smith (58th) joined the party to make it a thri­lling outing for the Waveriders.

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