Ranchi / Lucknow: Jaypee Punjab Warriors and Ranchi Rhinos played out a 1-1 draw at Birsa Munda Astroturf Hockey Stadium in a HIL match here on Saturday.
After Malak Singh put the visitors ahead, Mandeep Singh scored a superb diving goal to bring the hosts back in the game. Warriors had goalkeeper Jaap Stockmann to keep them in the game, with the Dutchman making at least 10 saves in the match.
Punjab Warriors started the match well, and entered the Rhinos’ scoring area twice in the first five minutes. Rhinos responded by making their own move, but neither of the goalkeeper was really tested.
Warriors earned their first penalty corner in the 10th minute, when SV Sunil was checked by Kothajit. The first drag flick hit the rusher’s leg, resulting in another penalty corner. The second one, struck by Christopher Cirielo, was brilliantly saved by Cortes.
Malak eventually put the visitors ahead in the 14th minute. Robert Hammond made a hard long pass, and Malak was in the right place to just deflect the ball past Cortes.
Meanwhile, in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh Wizards dented Mumbai Magicians’ hopes of making it to the last four beating the visitors 2-0.
Goals from Pardeep Mor and Siddharth Shankar made the difference for the hosts in this bottom of the table clash.
Wizards now have 22 points, eight more than the bottom-placed Magicians.
Both the teams began the match on a cautious note, with the play stuck in midfield. Neither of the teams were ready to go for an all out attack, and were trying to maintain their shape.