Bhubaneswar: Hockey lovers in Bhubaneshwar experienced a nail biting finish to the opening match of the 4th Coal India Hockey India League at the Kalinga Stadium, where Uttar Pradesh Wizards defeated Kalinga Lancers 8-6. Kalinga Lancers, who held their fort well for most of the game, gave way to the visitors conceding a crucial goal in the dying moments of the fourth and final quarter. The opening match also marked the application of the new scoring system to Hockey where every field goal is equal to 2 goals.
The first half opened to a flurry of attacks from both Kalinga Lancers and Uttar Pradesh Wizards. The first team to break the deadlock in the match was Uttar Pradesh Wizards, when Joulie Wouter capitalized on the first opportunity and converted a field goal in the 9thminute to give the visitors the first ever goal in the new look Coal India Hockey India League giving them a 2-0 lead. Kenneth Bain soon followed Joulie in the goal scoring tally with another field goal in the 14th minute taking the UP team to a 4-0 lead in the first quarter. The hosts fought back hard and scored on the counter attack through a much needed field goal from Pradeep Mor, finishing the first quarter trailing by two goals to the visitors at 4-2.
The second quarter saw a charged Kalinga Lancers where the team left no stone unturned to score. Their efforts were duly rewarded when through a field goal from Australian Glenn Turner in the 29th minute levelling the score at 4-4. There after the lancers kept pressing hard in the opponent circle and their efforts saw results when Glenn scored for the second time in the 37th minute to give the home team a much needed lead of 6-4 in the match.
The third quarter was a mix of attacks and defence from both the teams and saw no goals being scored. The fourth and final quarter began with Uttar Pradesh Wizards pressing hard to equalize but the lancers were too strong with their defence. The visitor’s efforts showed results in the 60th minute from a field goal by Edward Ockenden, levelling the score at 6-6. The final blow of the match for the home team came when Uttar Pradesh Wizard’s Akashdeep Singh struck a goal in the added time of the 4th quarter to give the visitors an incredible win in a really high scoring opener of the 4th edition of the Coal India Hockey India League.
The Man of the Match award for INR 50,000 went to Kalinga Lancers Glenn Turner, while The Coal India Goal of the Match Award for INR 50,000 was won by Uttar Pradesh Wizards Joulie Wouter. The Hero Emerging Player of the match award of INR 25000 went to Kalinga Lancers Dipsan Tirkey.
The next match of the 4th Coal India Hockey India League will played between the Jaypee Punjab Warriors and defending champions Ranchi Rays in Chandigarh on 19th January, 2016.