New Delhi: It took an inspired performance from the Uttar Pradesh Wizards to finally stop the Delhi Waveriders juggernaut from rolling as they thrashed the home team 4-1 in their final round-robin match of the Hockey India League at the floodlit Major Dhyan Chand Stadium.
After a dull and actionless opening half, the Wizards scored through field goals from Jeroen Hertzberger (39th minute), S K Uthappa (49th), Somanna Pudiyokkada (56th) and Gunasekar Malayalan (65th) to register the win.
For the Waveriders, Andrew Hayward scored the consolation goal by a converting a penalty corner in the 64th minute.
Despite the defeat, Delhi ended as table-toppers with 49 points from 12 games, while the Wizards jumped to the third spot with 32 points from as many games.
The Waveriders will now lock horns against fourth-placed Jaypee Punjab Warriors in the semifinals on Saturday, while the Wizards will face second-placed Ranchi Rhinos on their home turf in the other last four game the same day.
Both the teams displayed unimpressive hockey and looked out-of-sorts in the opening quarter.
Delhi were completely off-colour and never looked the team which came into the match with an unbeaten record. Delhi witnessed their worst start in the tournament as they were hardly penetrative in the first quarter. The UP side, on the other hand, had the better of the exchanges in the opening quarter and made couple of good moves but failed to breach the rival citadel for once.
After a dull first quarter, the match livened up in the second quarter with both the teams showing more purpose in their game.
The match flowed from end to the other with both the teams making numerous inroads into the rival citadel.


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