Match 11 of the Hero Hockey India League was played between Kalinga Lancers and the Uttar Pradesh wizards. The two teams met just two days ago in Lucknow and the Uttar Pradesh wizards inflicted heavy damage on the visiting team with a 5-1 win. Today’s game in Bhubaneshwar saw a much improved Kalinga side but they still ended up on the losing side. Goals from Bob de Voogd and Ramandeep Singh and a heroic performance by goalkeeper PR Sreejesh helped the Uttar Pradesh Wizards register a 2-0 win.
1st quarter: De Voogd scores opener for Uttar Pradesh wizards
The first quarter hardly saw any chances created on both the ends but the Kalinga Lancers were the dominating side in terms of possession. However, that didn’t help their cause as the visitors scored the opening goal of the match. In the 13th minute, Dutch forward Bob De Voogd received a pass from Alexander Baart, flicked it up around the keeper, brought it back down on his stick and rolled it into the net. At the end of first quarter, the score read 1-0 in favour of Uttar Pradesh wizards.
2nd quarter: Kalinga search for equalizer, Sreejesh denies them
The next fifteen minutes saw the Uttar Pradesh wizards play with a defensive approach and preserve the one goal lead. On the other hand, the Kalinga Lancers made repeated attempts on the goal but were denied by PR Sreejesh. The in-form UP Wizards goalkeeper blocked a drag-flick from Gurjinder Singh in the 17th minute and made an incredible diving effort in the 28th minute to block Russell Ford’s shot from the edge of the shooting circle. No goals were scored in the second quarter.
3rd quarter: Ramandeep nets a second goal Uttar Pradesh wizards
The second half began with the home side attacking on all fronts. The Lancers also found some genuine goalscoring opportunities but Sreejesh stood at the visitors’ goal like a rock. Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh wizards capitalised on another defensive blunder by Kalinga Lancers as Ramandeep Singh scored from a close range in the 35th minute. This was the second goal for the wizards and the Indian forward’s second goal of the tournament.
4th quarter: Andrew Charter keeps Kalinga alive, forwards fail to contribute
The last quarter saw a series of penalty corners taken by the Uttar Pradesh wizards. Andrew Charter, the Kalinga goalkeeper was alert and pulled off great saves to keep the home side alive in the game. But his forwards lacked the killing instinct and they failed to get the ball past PR Sreejesh. Lalitkumar Upadhyay, Russell Ford, none of them could manage to score a goal for the Kalinga Lancers. The final whistle was blown and Uttar Pradesh Wizards walked away with a comfortable 2-0 win, hence completing an unbeaten run against Kalinga Lancers. They now move up to the 2nd place on the points table. PR Sreejesh, the visitors’ goalie, was undoubtedly the Hero of the match.