Hockey India League: Kalinga Lancers reach final after defeating Uttar Pradesh Wizards on penalties
Kalinga Lancers stormed into the final of the Hockey India League (HIL) after defeating Uttar Pradesh Wizards via penalty shootout in a semi-final matc
Chandigarh: Kalinga Lancers stormed into the final of the fifth edition of Coal India Hockey India League (HIL) after defeating Uttar Pradesh Wizards via penalty shootout in a semi-final match on Saturday.
Both teams were locked 4-4 as the match went down to the wire, and it was only in the sudden death that Lancers won 4-3.
Lancers Australian goalkeeper Andrew Charter, who won man-of-the-match for his efforts, saved several goals for his team, not only in the alloted time but also in the penalty shootout.
Earlier, Akashdeep Singh of the Wizards pumped in a goal in the dying minutes of the alloted time after the Lancers were leading 4-2.
The Lancers, who were down 1-2 at the half time, came back strongly post interval to turn the tables on the Wizards.
For the winners, skipper Mortiz Fuerste and Billy Bakker scored the winning goals.
UP Wizards took an early lead when Belgian Florent Van Aubel scored the first goal in the 4th minute converting from a pass from Arthur van Doren. Being a field goal, its conversion was counted as two as per tournament rules.
Prior to that they earned a penalty corner in the opening couple of minutes and two more by the half time, but they failed to convert any of these.
Just three minutes before end of the first quarter, Lancers Devindar Walmaki scored through a penalty corner.
Till half-time, the Wizards, who were leading 2-1, played some attacking hockey and had it not been for some valiant saves made by Lancers' goalkeeper Andrew Charter, they would have scored more goals.
Lancers, however, were back in action when their skipper Mortiz Fuerste of Germany scored the equaliser in the 4th minute of the third quarter from a penalty corner.
In the third minute of the fourth and final quarter, Dutch Billy Bakker showed some great skills to beat Wizards' defence and went past at least three players to score a goal.
By virtue of Bakker's goal and as per tournament rules, Lancers extended the lead by 4-2.
However, for the Wizards, Akashdeep Singh, riding on the back of some good work from his team's forwards, made no mistake to net the ball in the dying minutes of the alloted time to tie the scores 4-4.
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Chandigarh, Haryana, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh also won their respective pool games on the second day of the competition.