A spirited performance from Kalinga Lancers against Uttar Pradesh Wizards lead them to their second consecutive finals in the Coal India Hockey India League. Playing at the Hockey Stadium in Chandigarh, the semi-final match went down to wire where ultimately Kalinga Lancers prevailed. The Bhubaneshwar based team will face Dabang Mumbai in the final match of the tournament.
Kalinga Lancers fought till the end to make it to the final
Uttar Pradesh Wizards went ahead 2-0 in the 4th minute of the match as Florent Van Aubel opened the scoring with a field goal. Kalinga Lancers responded quickly and scored from a penalty corner in the ninth minute, 2-1. In the third quarter, the Lancers scored again through a penalty corner to cancel out the Wizards field goal. They further went ahead 4-2 in the last quarter by scoring a field goal in the 46th minute. With just two minutes remaining on the clock, Akashdeep scored for the Wizards to level up the proceedings. With no further goals scored in regulation time, the match went to penalty shootouts. The two teams could not be separated even after five attempts each, both teams scoring two goals each. In sudden death, Akashdeep hit the bar in the third attempt while Aran Zalewski scored for Kalinga Lancers to book their finals ticket.
Andrew Charter played like a one-man army for the Lancers throughout the match, denying victory to their opponents. He was adjudged the Man of the Match for his outstanding performance under the bar.
Dabang Mumbai reached their maiden Hockey India League final
In the second semi-final match, the group-stage table toppers Dabang Mumbai beat Delhi Waveriders to enter the league’s final for the first time.
Iain Lewers missed a penalty stroke in normal time as Delhi Waveriders lost to a brilliant Dabang Mumbai side. Robbert Kemperman scored the lone field goal of the match to win the game 2-0 for Mumbai. The Dabangs aimed for a field goal from a penalty corner chance and it worked perfectly for them. Kemperman trapped the ball outside the dotted line, dragged it inside the 16 yard circle and scored with a backhand hit. Both teams wasted many easy chances with the ball hitting the post several times. None of the two teams could score any more goals in the match as Mumbai won 2-0.
The Man of the Match award was given to the Mumbai goalkeeper David Harte for his outstanding saves throughout the match.
The final match and play-offs for 3rd-4th places will be played on 26 February at the Hockey Stadium, Chandigarh.