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Rhinos claim third place

Ranchi: Defending champions Ranchi Rhinos beat Uttar Pradesh Wizards via penalty shoot-out to finish third in the second edition of the Hero Hockey India League (HIL) at the floodlit Astroturf Hockey Stadium, here, on Sunday.

The Rhinos beat the Wizards 3-2 via penalty shoot-out after the two teams were locked at 1-1 at regulation time.

The hosts started the match on a positive note and got the first scoring chance in the first quarter through a penalty corner but wasted the opportunity.

The Wizards, on the other hand, capitalised on their first penalty corner through VR Raghunath who converted the chance in the 15th minute.

But the Rhinos equalised five minutes from half time through Manpreet Singh’s fine solo effort.

Manpreet beat three Rhinos defender before slotting the ball into the opposition net with a fierce strike from top of the circle in the 30th minute.

After the change of ends, both the teams tried their level best to break the deadlock but their efforts fell flat.

The Wizards, however, had a bright chance to seal the match in their favour in the 68th minute when they earned their second penalty corner but they failed to utilise the opportunity to take the match into shoot-out.

In the one-on-one shoot-out situation, the Rhinos scored thrice out of five chances while the Wizards could find the back of the net just twice.

The third place finish made the Rhinos richer by Rs 75,00,000.