Lucknow: Four goals in the final quarter helped Uttar Pradesh Wizards register their first win in the Hero Hockey India League (HIL), trouncing Kalinga Lancers 5-1 at the Dhyan Chand Sports College stadium here on Thursday.
V.R. Raghunath (fifth minute), S.K. Uthappa (53rd), and the Dutch trio of Bob De Voogd (54th), Wouter Jolie (55th) and Jeroen Hertzberger (60th) found the back of the net for the Wizards, while Australian Russel Ford (58th) pulled back a consolation goal for the Lancers.
Raghunath gave the Wizards an early lead with a penalty corner goal in the fifth minute.
Despite a number of scoring attempts by both the teams in the subsequent quarter, none could materialise the chances and the second quarter remained goalless. At half-time, the home team led 1-0.
Although the third quarter did not witness a goal but the hosts were all over the Lancers, threatening their circle and breaching the defence time and again.
The fourth quarter saw the efforts bearing results for the Wizards as they rocketed off the blocks to strike thrice within three minutes to surge to a 4-0 lead.
The second goal was netted by Uthappa, which was immediately followed by a field goal from De Voogd and then Jolie struck the fourth.
In the dying minutes of the game Ford scored the lone goal for the visitors, but just before the final hooter the Wizards were awarded a penalty stroke which Hertzberger flawlessly converted into the fifth goal for the hosts, escalating the score to an insurmountable 5-1.
Â“This was a much needed win today as this is our first in the league till now. The team was in good shape today and performed well too. The second goal by the team really boosted the confidence of all of us," Wizards new captain Jolie said.
"During the half time we discussed the strategies and decided to play with coordination along with team spirit and this turned out in a fantastic win today. Though I am satisfied with our performance today, there is still room for improvement.Â”