UP Wizards defeat Kalinga Lancers 10-0 in HIL match at Kalinga Stadium

Bhubaneswar: Ramandeep Singh and Akashdeep Singh scored twice each as Uttar Pradesh Wizards defeated hosts Kalinga Lancers 10-0 in a Coal India Hockey India League (HIL) match at the Kalinga Stadium here on Sunday.

While Argentine forward Augustin Mazzilli scored a field goal in the opening minute, Ramandeep (fourth and 23rd) and Akashdeep (27th and 48th) ripped apart Kalinga’s defence, giving much needed victory to UP Wizards.

Playing in front of a packed Kalinga Stadium, Uttar Pradesh Wizards struck their first goal, only seconds into the game, through Argentine Agustin Mazzilli. The young forward who was leading the visitors’ attack was inch perfect in putting the ball past Kalinga Lancers’ keeper Abhinav Kumar Pandey, after he was brilliantly assisted by Arthur Van Doren in the 1st minute of the match. This was perhaps the quickest goal in the League so far and it certainly set the momentum for an exciting encounter.

Forward Ramandeep Singh, who had scored a fierce 59th minute goal for Uttar Pradesh Wizards in their first game of the League, further enhanced their lead to 4-0 with a stunning goal from the left flank in the 4th minute. It was a quick-thinking Akashdeep Singh who did a brilliant job by setting up the goal, thus silencing the boisterous home crowd. As per the new Regulations, a field goal counts as two goals and the visitors took complete advantage of this.

Uttar Pradesh Wizards, who dominated the first quarter, had a chance to take their lead to 5-0 when they earned their first PC of the match but a poor injection by Akashdeep Singh denied them the luxury.

The second quarter saw the home team play an attacking game, often making forays into the circle trying desperately to find the gap for a field goal but in vain. Uttar Pradesh Wizards, meanwhile, launched a lethal counter attack and they found success almost immediately with Ramandeep Singh scoring the team’s third goal in the 23rd minute. A skillful dribble into the circle by Seve Van Ass, beating the Kalinga Lancers’ defender Amit Rohidas, to find Ramandeep Singh who had fashioned himself in front of the post made no mistake in putting the ball past Pandey.

Later, Akashdeep Singh pumped yet another goal into the Kalinga Lancers’ post in the 27th minute taking their lead to a swashbuckling 8-0 and thus earning the tag of becoming the milestone man as this was the 50th goal at the fifth edition of the Coal India Hockey India League.

Marching into the third quarter after a formidable start, the Uttar Pradesh Wizards were patient, playing a sensible game and denying much of the ball possession to their opponents. In the 34th minute, they earned their second PC of the game, thanks to Akashdeep Singh but they couldn’t convert the chance as Kalinga Lancers keeper Andrew Charter did well in padding away the strike by VR Raghunath.

Kalinga Lancers’ dangerous forward Glenn Turner was strangely off the mark today. He missed a good chance at converting a goal in the 42nd minute when Lalit Upadhyay set him up rather seamlessly but Turner couldn’t quite convert it, thanks to the efforts of Uttar Pradesh Wizards’ celebrated keeper PR Sreejesh. Thus, ending the quarter without a goal.

The visitors continued their rampaging form into the fourth quarter as Akashdeep Singh put another one past a hapless goal keeper Charter after racing into the circle with little threat from Kalinga Lancers’ defenders and making a successful attempt in the 48th minute. This effort earned the Uttar Pradesh Wizards a 10-0 lead and five points from the match. They also became the first team in the league to win an away-from-home match.