Uttar Pradesh Wizards ill form in their home matches continued on Sunday. After losing to Ranchi Rhinos on Saturday,hosts UP slipped to another defeat at the Dhyan Chand Stadium in Lucknow their third consecutive loss in the Hockey India League.
The home side were under pressure from the start as they conceded three goals within eight minutes against Punjab Warriors and eventually lost 4-3.
Warriors completely dominated the first-quarter. Making use of a pass from the left,SV Sunil sounded the board in the second minute itself. He scored another two minutes later.
Missing the services of their defender Harbir Singh,UP allowed Punjab to consolidate the lead through captain Jamie Dwyer who scored through a penalty-corner in the 8th minute.
Though UP succeeded in bringing down the margin to 3-1 as David Alegre found the target,four minutes later Punjabs Christopher Ciriello drag-flicked his way to a penalty-corner goal in the 15th minute to make the score 4-1.
While the second quarter remained goal-less,UP displayed better attack and improved defence after the first half but it was too little too late.
Their captain VR Raghunath was successful in scoring through a penalty corner in the 65th minute and two minutes later,Jeroen Hertzberger also scored but that could only bridge the gap as they failed to breach the Punjab defence towards the end. UP coach Roelant Oltmans refused to blame individual players for the loss.
We play as a team and lose as a team. We did not play (well) in the first quarter.
For me the match started after the first seven-and-a-half minutes. It was a disaster… to see how the team played. We were good in the last quarter but by that time we were 4-1 down.
We missed the services of one of our defenders,Harbir Singh,who could not play today due to injury but that is no excuse. I am disappointed…, he said.
With this win,the Warriors have jumped to the third in the table with 20 points,while Wizards slipped to fourth with 17 points.