It was supposed to be a game where both Delhi Waveriders and Uttar Pradesh Wizards were eyeing a big win in order to jump to the top of the Hockey India League standings here on Wednesday.
In the end, it turned out to be a complete anti-climax as both teams looked to be rather watchful and playing for not losing the game. A 1-1 draw has given Waveriders a top spot for the time being and some respite to the Wizards, who kept their third place, but the way frequent scoring opportunities were lost by both sides could be a matter of concern in the games to come.
UP Wizards did create a chance in the fifth minute with league’s most expensive signing Ramandeep Singh attacking from the left flank. But there was no one there from his side to receive the ball and it crossed the back line. Skipper Sardar Singh led the home team attack in the very next minute by beating three UP defenders but his cross was neatly intercepted by Pradeep Mor.
There were many attacks afterwards but nothing materialised for both teams till the 23rd minute when Waveriders’ Gurbaj Singh dribbled past the right backline before sending a minus to Yuvraj Walmiki, who made no mistake by flicking it to goalie’s right side to move the scoreboard.
The scoreboard remained unchanged till the 63rd minute when Wizards’ SK Uthappa restored parity by whacking Sander Baart’s pass inside the net. The game picked up the pace in the remaining seven minutes but both the teams failed to capitalise on many opportunities created by midfield.