New Delhi: The battle between two of the best teams in the Hero Hockey India League (HIL) — Delhi Waveriders and Uttar Pradesh Wizards — was expected to be an exciting affair. On the contrary, the game ended in a tame 1-1 draw at the Dhyan Chand Stadium here on Wednesday.
While the crowd left a rather disappointed lot, the draw elevated Waveriders to the top of the table with 19 points from six matches. Wizards remained at the third place with 15 and Jaypee Punjab Warriors are currently second with 18 points. The Delhi side, however, have played one match more than other teams.
The match was mostly confined to the midfield. Neither side showing much attacking zeal in the rival areas. Wizards took the lead in the ninth minute, when Simon Child worked his way through the defence on the right, before passing the ball for Yuvraj Walmiki to slam it in.
Wizards’ captain Sardar Singh and Man of the Match Gubraj Singh controlled the middle well. But the Wizards, coached by Roelant Oltmans, could not break open the Delhi defence till the 62nd minute. It was SK Uthappa who brought relief to the UP camp with a fine reverse flick after a quick turn in the Delhi area.
Delhi coach Cedric D’Souza said he was expecting to win this encounter. “We had a good first half… No doubt they were better in the second. But then, we have gone to the top and would now push hard to keep the position intact.”