The unstoppable Delhi Waveriders once again highlighted the gap that exists between them and the rest as they defeated the Uttar Pradesh Wizards. Their 3-0 result also kept the Mumbai Magicians' challenge alive for the time being.
Andres Mir Bel, Simon Child and Gurwinder Singh Chandi scored for Delhi, stretching their unbeaten run to 10 games, and taking their tally to 44 points. UP, on the other hand are fourth in the table with 22 points, eight ahead of Mumbai, with two games still to be played by every team.
In Sunday’s game, Delhi again galloped off the blocks as they earned back to back penalty corners in the 10th minute. Off the second, Mir Bel struck a low flick to the left corner to beat the UP goalie. Uthappa and De Nooijer combined well to make some interesting moves for the hosts, but were not allowed to take a shot at the goal by the Delhi defence. Delhi doubled the lead in the 17th minute though an Oscar Deecke goal.
The visitors created a number of chances and looked threatening each time they came forward. The intensity hardly dipped in the second half and Delhi scored a third with Chandi unleashing a thunderous hit from the top of the circle that beat the goalkeeper all ends up.
In search of a goal and a point, UP threw everything at Delhi in the final quarter and earned three penalty corners. However, goalkeeper Nicolas Jacobi was too good for them.
Delhi coach AK Bansal later said: "We had not come with any specific planning as such for this match. There was no pressure about the outcome of the results. We had this at the back of my mind that UP had played well against Mumbai yesterday and Lucknow has a heavy ground (turf)... the hosts could be a little tired."
Uttar Pradesh Wizards coach Raelant Oltmans said, "We have to ensure that our defence becomes well-organised. We also created a lot of opportunities but Delhi defenders made good saves."
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