Ranchi Rhinos outclassed Uttar Pradesh Wizards 2-1 in the latter’s first home match at the Dhyan Chand Stadium, Lucknow, on Saturday. The Rhinos enjoyed greater ball possession in the win that allowed them to avenge their 2-3 loss against the Wizards in Ranchi earlier in this second season of the Hockey India League.
The Rhinos took the lead in the last minute of the first quarter through drag-flicker Ashley Jackson, who converted a penalty-corner. Barry Middleton consolidated the lead in the 26th minute through a well-timed field goal.
In the third quarter, the Wizards adopted an attacking approach but the Rhinos defense ,led by their captain Moritz Furste, seemed impregnable.
The Wizards, however, succeeded in reducing the margin to 2-1 when Edward Ockenden scored in the 50th minute. But thereafter, the Rhinos maintained their stranglehold on the match.
After the match, UP Wizards captain VR Raghunath said, “Today’s defeat is a bit disappointing. But there is a long way to go in this tournament. I also expect the players to get some good penalty-corners against Jaypee Punjab Warriors.”
Wizards coach Roelant Oltmans said, “This evening we will think about what went wrong today and then plan about how to go tomorrow.”
Rhinos coach Gregg Clark said, “Our best is yet to come. We are looking forward to our matches at home now.”
Other result: Kalinga Lancers beat Mumbai Magicians 2-1