Wizards aim to avoid third straight HIL loss against Lancers (Preview)

Lucknow, Jan 24 (IANS) Hosts Uttar Pradesh Wizards would aim to avoid three consecutive losses when they take on Kalinga Lancers in a Coal India Hockey India League match here on Sunday.

Wizards beat Lancers 8-6 in a hard fought tournament-opening match in Bhubaneswar last Monday.

But since then the home side has faced a reversal of fortunes, losing against Ranchi Rays 4-2 and 3-1 against Delhi Waveriders.

But Wizards are confident of their first win on their home turf Major Dhayanchand Hockey Stadium.

“The previous two matches have been close and we are only going to learn from our mistakes. The Kalinga Lancers is a strong team but we have defeated them previously so it will be an immense boost for the team,” Wizards head coach Roger Van Gent said in a release.

“We are taking one match at a time and our aim is not to get complacent and keep working hard. The team has been practicing hard and are focussed on the goal of winning the match putting forth a good show for the home crowd.”

Lancers have played two matches so far, coming into the match on the back of a 4-2 win against Dabang Mumbai.

The team, under the leadership of star captain Moritz Fuerste and the good form of Australian forward Glenn Turner, will be looking to keep the momentum going.

“The team is playing in good spirits and are enjoying the game. The international and the Indian players have been really getting along well after the first two matches on home ground,” Lancers head coach Mark Hager said.

“The home match against Uttar Pradesh Wizards was a close one and it could have gone either way in the finishing moments of the game. It was hard luck for us but we have regrouped and are looking all set for the reverse fixture.”

Uttar Pradesh Wizards are second in the point table with 7 points whereas Kalinga Lancers are fourth in the table with 6 points.

According to the tournament’s rules, a field goal is counted as two.

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