The third edition of Hockey India League is now in the knockout stage as we have got four semi-finalists for the season i.e. Jaypee Punjab Warriors, Ranchi Rays, Uttar Pradesh Wizards and Delhi Waveriders. In the very first semifinal match Ranchi Rays will take on Uttar Pradesh Wizards today on 21st February at Dhyan Chand National Stadium in Delhi.
Ranchi Rays won six matches at the first stage of league whereas Uttar Pradesh Wizards managed to win 5 games. These two teams faced each other twice in the league stage and both times RR beat UPW. In first meet Ranchi defeated Uttar Pradesh by 2-0 whereas in previous meet they won by 1-0. So this time we can say that Ranchi Rays have got dominance over UPW.
On the other hand Uttar Pradesh Wizards will be looking to take revenge from those defeats and this is the big occasion to take revenge as if UPW wins against RR they’ll qualify for the final match of Hero Hockey India League 2015 to be played on 22 Feb. RR secured second position in the 2015 HIL points table.
Australia’s Trent Mitton, Mandeep Singh, Birendra Lakra, and Ashley Jackson will be the key players for Ranchi Rays in the match. Jackson is in tremendous form and he has scored some classy goals in the competition so far. The captain is in full confidence that team has done well in the tournament till now and hope to do it again against Wizards.
He said, “The team has been in great form in the entire League and from here we have to ensure we continue the same in the knocked out stage also. Each player will have to deliver to beat the Wizards as they with each game have got stronger in all departments.
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Jackson also mentioned that we (RR) will be looking to create more penalty corners to get most out from the match. He added, “Our focus will be to penetrate the D and create the penalty corners for ourselves as much as possible. Personally i will look at converting the penalty corners that the team gets. We will go on the attack from the start and ensure possession.”
VR Raghunath, Ramandeep Singh, SK Uthappa, PR Sreejesh and Jeroen Hertzberger are going to be the vital players for UPW in this crucial semi-final match in Delhi. Uttar Pradesh Wizards coach is confident that team will play good hockey and give best to reach in the final of HIL 2015.
UPW coach said, “It’s a big game tomorrow. We need to perform to our highest level that we have ever performed in the tournament. It’s a clash for the run to the final. We have to perform in the best possible way so that we have a chance to play the final of Hockey India League, this season.”
Live streaming of Ranchi Rays vs Uttar Pradesh Wizards semi-final match can be watched online on starsports.com. Star Sports to telecast live match on television as well. The match is scheduled to kicks-off at 4:30 PM IST.