UP Wizards beat Mumbai Magicians 2-0, inch towards semi-final
Goals from Pardeep Mor and Siddharth Shankar made the difference for Uttar Pradesh Wizards in the bottom of the table clash.
Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Wizards dented Mumbai Magicians' hopes of making it to last four of the Hockey India League beating the visitors 2-0 at Dhyan Chand Astroturf Stadium, here on Saturday.
Goals from Pardeep Mor and Siddharth Shankar made the difference for the hosts in this bottom of the table clash. Wizards now have 22 points, 8 more than the bottom-placed Magicians.
Both the teams began the match on a cautions note, with the play stuck in midfield. Neither of the team was ready to go for an all out attack, and were trying to maintain their shape.
It all changed in the ninth minute though, when the hosts took the lead. Under a little bit of pressure from a Wizards' player, Glenn Simpson made a poor clearance, which was collected by Pardeep Mor at the top of the Magicians' circle.
Mor took a couple of steps towards the ball, and smashed it in the top right corner, giving Magicians' goalie Sreejesh absolutely no chance. This was Mor's first goal of the tournament.
Mumbai outfit's first real opportunity came in the second minute of the second quarter when Swarnjit Singh failed to find the target with a reverse hit, with the goalie at his mercy.
Wizards responded immediately, with first hitting right post, and then earning back to back penalty corners. The first was hit the Magicians' rusher's leg, second one was deflected out by Sandip Singh.
Magicians then got another chance to equalise, in the 32nd minute, when a superb solo move by Faisal Sarri ended up in the visitors earning a penalty corner. However, Aiyappa was unable to stop the push, and the ball was taken out to safety by Wizards.