The defending champions Jaypee Punjab Warriors faced Uttar Pradesh Wizards in match number 22 of the Coal India Hockey India League. Playing at the Hockey Stadium, Chandigarh, the home side lost the game 6-2 to the bottom of the table Uttar Pradesh Wizards team.
Punjab conceded a field goal at the start of first quarter, Shamsher Singh scoring from a powerful strike in the fifth minute. With field goals counting for two, the goal meant Uttar Pradesh Wizards took a 2-0 lead. The tie was a game of hits and misses. Both the teams tried hard on turnovers but none of the two teams managed to score any more goals in the first two quarters. At half time, the score was still 2-0 in favour of Uttar Pradesh Wizards.
JPW scored within 30 seconds of resumption of play in the second half, Mirco Pruijser slotting home from a cross. The field goal meant Punjab scored 2 goals and scoreline read 2-2. But a poor clearance by Punjab’s Hardik minutes later lead to another UP Wizards goal. The clearance ball fell to Akashdeep who passed it to Ajay Yadav who had acres of space around him. The 20-year old Ajay took his time and hit cracker of a shot to score a field goal, scoreline reading 4-2.
With just around two minutes left on the clock, Akashdeep doubled the lead for UP Wizards. His reverse stick field goal, counting for 2, meant that the scoreline read 6-2. No more goals were scored in the last two minutes as the match ended 6-2 in favour of UP Wizards.
Armaan Qureshi was Jaypee Punjab Warriors’ star despite their loss
The youngster Ajay Yadav was adjudged the Man of the Match for his performance. On the other hand, Punjab’s Armaan Qureshi was adjudged the Most entertaining player of the match. JPW stayed fourth on the points table with 17 points. Meanwhile UP Wizards, with 15 points, leapfrogged Delhi Waveriders to reach fifth position after earning five points from this game.
With a rest day in between, the next match of the league will be played between Delhi Waveriders and Dabang Mumbai on the 15th of February in Delhi.