HIL: Waveriders, Wizards square off in a battle of supremacy
New Delhi: A thrilling contest is on the cards when Delhi Waveriders take on Uttar Pradesh Wizards in a round robin league match of the Hero Hockey India League 2014 here tomorrow with both the team eyeing a win to jump to the top of the standings.
The match also gives both the teams a chance to test each other's strength as they are playing against each other for the first time in the second edition of the event. Placed at second position with 17 points from five games, the Waveriders are presently lying ahead of UP Wizards in standings.
The Wizards are third in the table with 13 points from four matches. Tomorrow's match is of huge significance for both the Waveriders and Wizards as it will give them a chance to climb up in the standings. If the Waveriders win tomorrow, they will go above table toppers Jaypee Punjab Warriors with 22 points in their kitty.
A win tomorrow will propel UP Wizards to 18 points and ensure a joint top spot for them along Jaypee Punjab Warriors. Both Waveriders and Wizards did not have the best of outings in their last match. While the Delhi outfit were made to work hard to secure a 4-3 win over debutants Kalinga Lancers, UP Wizards were held to a 2-2 draw by Jaypee Punjab Warriors in their last game.
The Waveriders have so far won three and lost two out of their five games. The UP Wizards, on the other hand, have a slightly better record having won two, lost one and drawn one out of the four matches they played in the tournament so far. With the home support behind them at the capital's Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here, the Waveriders will enjoy a slight edge over the UP Wizards tomorrow.
"Uttar Pradesh Wizards are one of the strong contenders in the league and we will play and try not committing any mistakes against them. Although team will be playing on the home ground but considering the present format of the league, the overall performance of the team depends on the performances of all players," said Delhi Waveriders' head coach Cedric D'Souza. "But of course there will be home support for our team."
Waveriders captain Sardar Singh added: "Uttar Pradesh Wizards is a different team this year as compared to the inaugural season of Hero Hockey India League. We are practicing very hard with a focus to give less penalty corners to the Wizards."
While UP Wizards are high on confidence going into tomorrow's game, they will be desperately trying to convert their chances against the Waveriders tomorrow. "It's an important match for us tomorrow. If we win, we would be at the top of the pool table. If we lose, we have to look at the teams standing below us in the pool table.
To win, we need to perform upto a level and we are looking forward to a great game tomorrow," said UP Wizards coach Reolant Oltmans. Speaking on the preparations, Wizards skipper V R Raghunath said: "Well, it's a new match tomorrow.
It would be a thrilling encounter tomorrow. Besides, we need to concentrate on our core strength and not to make the same mistakes that we made in earlier games. We are determined to play our best game tomorrow."