Greater Noida: UP Yoddha defeated table toppers Dabang Delhi KC 50-33 in the first match of their home leg in Greater Noida to storm into the playoffs of Pro Kabaddi League season 7. UP had found their home, Shaheed Vijay Singh Pathik Sports Complex in Greater Noida, a difficult venue the last season but this year, they took no time to settle down as they booked the last playoffs spot to give themselves a relaxing space in the upcoming matches.
The UP Yoddha raiders shone the brightest as Monu Goyat notched up his first Super 10 after returning from injury, scoring 11 raid points in the match. He was well-supported by the inform Shrikant Jadhav who scored nine raid points by the end of the match.
Dabang Delhi were testing their bench strength after guaranteeing themselves a spot in the semi-finals straightaway and made wholesale changes against UP with Meraj Sheykh, their captain, being the only regular. Apart from him, Aman Kadian and Sombir were the only other proven names while the rest of the youngsters were getting a rare chance to perform. Even though Delhi lost the match, Neeraj Narwal shone with a Super 10 while Sombir also won six tackle points in seven attempts.
UP will next take on Puneri Paltan on Sunday and if they still stand a chance to take the third spot in the points table.
The first half began and returning star Monu Goyat got his team off to a flying start with 6 raid points off the first 15 points of the team. It was captain Nitesh Kumar who inflicted the first all-out on Dabang Delhi with a tackle on Aman Kadian as UP took a 10-5 lead within the first six minutes of the half.
With this tackle Nitesh also achieved the milestone of 200 points in PKL. While Delhi's inexperience showed on the mat, UP made the best of the situation and kept the pressure on to enter the half-time with a 22-12 lead. In the first half, Monu Goyat alone scored eight raid points.
The second half started in a similar fashion as Monu Goyat opened the half with a single point raid. What followed was a treat for the home crowd as UP inflicted the second all-out on Delhi. It was again Nitesh whose tackle did the trick for his team. With 18 minutes remaining in the match, UP led by a 14-point margin at 29-15.
However, Neeraj Narwal stepped up for Delhi with a Super Raid to reduce the gap to 31-21 with 14 minutes left in the half but UP did not let their concentration or level dip. Leading 34-21, UP's Shrikant Yadav got a couple of touch points on Sumit and Mohit to increase their lead to 36-21.
Soon, UP inflicted a third all-out on Delhi to further their lead to 43-26 with a little over four minutes left in the second half. Delhi could not find a way through with most of their star players rested as UP Yoddha stormed off to a solid win.