Hockey India League: Uttar Pradesh Wizards hope to shine at homehttps://indianexpress.com/article/sports/hockey/hockey-india-league-uttar-pradesh-wizards-hope-to-shine-at-home/

Hockey India League: Uttar Pradesh Wizards hope to shine at home

The Wizards are placed third in the points table with 27 points from nine matches.

Uttar Pradesh Wizards’ will play their last home match when they meet Dabur Mumbai Magicians at the Dhyan Chand Stadium, Lucknow, on Tuesday. This will be their fifth match at the venue and in the four games played here so far, they have lost in two, drawn one and won one. The victory came when they beat Kalinga Lancers 3-1 a little over a week ago.

Their performance on home turf might not be very impressive but they had defeated the Mumbai Magicians in Mumbai 5-3 in their second league encounter. The Wizards are placed third in the points table with 27 points from nine matches, while Mumbai Magicians are at the bottom of the table with 13 points from the same number of outings.

Though the teams are coming off contrasting results – the Mumbai team had registered a 3-2 victory against Kalinga Lancers on Sunday while UP Wizards lost 1-2 to Punjab Warriors on Saturday – their respective positions on the points table makes the home side favourites.

Wizards coach Roelant Oltmans felt that Tuesday’s match was crucial because it was their final league game before the semifinals. VR Raghunath, the captain UP Wizards team, also echoed similar sentiments. “It’s our last league match. We need to make sure that we don’t make the mistakes that we made in our last game. After this match we can’t afford to make mistakes because we will be playing the knockouts,” Raghunath said.