Delhi Waveriders win Hero Hockey India League

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It came as a befitting result for last year's runners-up Waveriders. Reuters It came as a befitting result for last year's runners-up Waveriders. Reuters
SummaryIt came as a befitting result for last year's runners-up Waveriders...

Delhi Waveriders defeated Jaypee Punjab Warriors in the penalty shoot-out to emerge as the champions in the second edition of Hero Hockey India League at the packed Astroturf Hockey Stadium, here today.

It came as a befitting result for last year's runners-up Waveriders, who made their second consecutive final of HIL.

The Waveriders beat Warriors 3-1 in the shoot-out after the regulation 70 minutes ended in a 3-3 tie.

Majority of the credit should go to the Waveriders goalie Nicolas Jacobi, who had a brilliant day under the bar and made numerous saves to guide the Delhi side to the title.

Apart from making quite a few saves in the regulation time, Jacobi stood like a rock in the shoot-out to deny Warriors' first three attempts before Robert Hammond scored from the one-on-one situation.

But it was not enough as the Waveriders scored three out of their four chances in the shoot-out to run away with the glittering trophy and Rs 2.5 crore prize purse.

The Warriors took home Rs 1.25 crore, while the last year's champions Ranchi Rhinos pocketed Rs 75 lakh for finishing third.

Earlier in the day, the Rhinos defeated Uttar Pradesh Wizards too on penalty shoot-out to claim the third place.

The Rhinos defeated UP Wizards 3-2 in the shoot-out after both the teams were locked at 1-1 at regulation time.

Later in the day, the Warriors started on a positive note in the summit clash and took the lead as early as in the opening minute of the match through Mark Knowles' who scored from a field effort.

The Waveriders did not sit back and pressed hard for the equaliser and in the process secured a penalty corner in the eighth minute but Rupinderpal Singh's try was deflected wide by Lucas Rey.

The Waveriders kept up the pressure on the Warriors' citadel and their efforts bore fruit as they scored two goals in a span of two minutes to go into the breather with a 2-1 lead.

Lloyd Norris Jones first drew parity in the 33rd minute with a fierce forehand strike after receiving a pass from Akashdeep Singh before skipper Sardar Singh (35th) scored from a penalty corner after latching on to a rebound.

It turned out to be an exciting contest after the breather as both the teams relied on attacking, fast-paced hockey to outplay each other.

The Punjab Warriors came up with some impressive forays and made use of the opportunities that came their way.

The Punjab

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