Despite draw, Waveriders HIL table toppers

New Delhi, Feb 5: The Delhi Waveriders went on top of the Hockey India League (HIL) standings despite being held to a 1-1 draw by Uttar Pradesh Wizards on their home turf at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here Wednesday.

Both the teams bagged two points each for the second draw of the HIL. The Waveriders now lead the table with 19 points while the Wizards remain in third spot with 15 points.

The Waveriders started on an authoritative note by pushing the visitors into their half for most of the first quarter. The hosts took a few chances but the Wizards’ defence proved too strong to breach.

Australian Matt Gohdes had a fantastic chance in the dying minutes of the first quarter when his attempt went past Wizards’ goalkeeper George Bazeley, struck the near post but went out.

Five minutes into the second quarter and Yuvraj Walmiki converted a Simon Child pass to put the Waveriders on the board.

Both teams became watchful and started playing tactful and safe hockey. The two teams started possession hockey but the visitors got a penalty corner in the 33rd minute. However, they were unlucky not to convert it and went into halftime trailing 0-1.

In the third quarter, both teams did not give away possession when they had it. The Lucknow-based team had another chance at the goal when they earned a penalty corner in the 49th minute but the Delhi defence was solid.

Waveriders’ skipper and playmaker Sardar Singh created another brilliant chance when he moved past three Wizards’ defenders to pass the ball to New Zealand’s Child, who missed the far post by inches.

The Wizards finally levelled in the 62nd minute when S.K. Uthappa’s reverse flick went in past Waveriders’ goalkeeper Nicolas Jacobi. The scoreline remained the same till the end.

Result: Delhi Waveriders drew Uttar Pradesh Wizards 1-1

IANS