Strikers Ramandeep Singh and Akashdeep Singh scored a brace each as Uttar Pradesh Wizards produced a stellar performance to spank Kalinga Lancers 10-0 and register their first win in the fifth Hockey India League here on Sunday.
Ramandeep (4th and 23rd minutes) and Akashdeep (27th, 48th) were stars for Uttar Pradesh Wizards. Playing in front of a packed Kalinga Stadium, Uttar Pradesh Wizards were 2-0 up only seconds into the game through Argentine Agustin Mazzilli’s field strike as according to the rules of the tournament one field goal is counted as two.
The young forward who was leading the visitors’ attack was inch perfect in putting the ball past Kalinga Lancers’ keeper Abhinav Kumar Pandey, after he was brilliantly assisted by Arthur Van Doren in the first minute of the match.
Ramandeep, who had scored a fierce 59th minute goal for Uttar Pradesh Wizards in their first game this season, further enhanced their lead to 4-0 with a stunning goal from the left flank in the fourth minute.
It was a quick-thinking Akashdeep who did a brilliant job by setting up the goal, thus silencing the boisterous home crowd.
Uttar Pradesh Wizards, who dominated the first quarter, had a chance to take their lead to 5-0 when they earned their first penalty corner but a poor injection by Akashdeep denied them the luxury.
The second quarter saw the home team play an attacking game, often making forays into the circle trying desperately to find the gap for a field goal but in vain. Uttar Pradesh Wizards, meanwhile, launched a lethal counter attack and found success almost immediately with Ramandeep scoring the team’s third field goal in the 23rd minute.
A skillful dribble into the circle by Seve Van Ass, beat Kalinga Lancers’ defender Amit Rohidas to find Ramandeep who had fashioned himself in front of the post and made no mistake in putting the ball past Pandey.
Later, Akashdeep pumped yet another goal into the Kalinga Lancers’ post in the 27th minute taking their lead to 8-0.
Marching into the third quarter after a formidable start, the Uttar Pradesh Wizards were patient, playing a sensible game and denied much of the ball possession to their opponents.
In the 34th minute, they earned their second penalty corner of the game, thanks to Akashdeep but failed to convert the chance as Kalinga Lancers keeper Andrew Charter did well in padding away the drag flick ball by skipper VR Raghunath.
Kalinga Lancers’ dangerous forward Glenn Turner was strangely off the mark. He missed a good chance in the 42nd minute when Lalit Upadhyay set him up rather seamlessly. The visitors continued their rampaging form into the fourth quarter as Akashdeep put another one past a hapless Lancers goalkeeper Charter after racing into the circle with little threat from the rival defenders in the 48th minute.
This effort earned the Uttar Pradesh Wizards a 10-0 lead and five points from the match. They also became the first team in the league to win an away match. Dabang Mumbai take on Delhi Waveriders in Mumbai on Monday.