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Hockey: Delhi Waveriders win second Hero Hockey India League

Delhi Waveriders celebrate winning the second Hero Hockey India League, having lost in last year’s final.

Delhi Waveriders celebrate winning the second Hero Hockey India League, having lost in last year’s final.

February 24, 2014:  India captain Sardar Singh lifted the trophy as Delhi Waveriders won the second Hero Hockey India League by beating Jaypee Punjab Warriors – captained by Australia legend Jamie Dwyer – in a penalty shootout following a 3-3 draw in regulation time.

 

Hosts Ranchi Rhinos, last year’s inaugural champions, also won a shootout (3-2) to beat Uttar Pradesh Wizards after a 1-1 draw in the third place playoff, which was held before the final at the Astroturf Hockey Stadium in the eastern city of Ranchi.

 

German goalkeeper Nicolas Jacobi produced a stunning performance under the bar as Delhi won the shootout 3-1, with Bollywood actor and Waveriders co-owner John Abraham in the dugout cheering on his team.

 

Delhi Waveriders captain Sardar Singh (right) in the final.

Delhi Waveriders captain Sardar Singh (right) in the final.

Jaypee were unable to get past Jacobi in their first three attempts before Robert Hammond found the back of the net, but it was too late as Delhi scored three out of their first four attempts.

 

Singh said: “It was a very close match today. For us, it was to go all out, but also keep our patience in place. We will enjoy the win and gear up for the next tournament.”

 

Delhi coach Cedric D’Souza said the victory helped make up for defeat to Ranchi Rhinos in last year’s final.

 

“We lost the final last year, so this time we were filled with fire and the urge to win,” D’Souza said. “We had a hard match today, but we planned and executed our strategy well today. It’s time to enjoy the victory.”

 

Jaypee had made a dream start to the final when they opened the scoring in the second minute through Mark Knowles’ field goal, but it was Delhi who led at half-time after scoring twice in three minutes at the end of the first half. Lloyd Norris Jones equalised with a field goal in the 33rd minute after Akashdeep Singh set him up and two minutes later skipper Singh followed up a rebound from a penalty corner to put his side 2-1 ahead.

 

Delhi celebrate after their penalty shootout win.

Delhi celebrate after their penalty shootout win.

Jaypee started the second half strongly as field goals from Shivendra Singh and young Affan Yousuf in the 45th and 48th minutes restored their lead, but Delhi levelled within four minutes when Yuvraj Walmiki slotted home after receiving a diagonal pass from Andres Mir Bel.

 

Warriors dominated the final quarter while Waveriders relied on counterattacks, but neither side was able to secure a winner in an exciting 70-minute encounter.

 

Jaypee coach Barry Dancer said: “The team played very well and we dominated the match for a long period of time, but somehow we were not as aggressive as our opponents. However, this was the best game of the tournament and I am proud of this team.”

 

FIH President Leandro Negre and FIH CEO Kelly Fairweather were among the VIPs watching the final along with Dr Narinder Batra, Chairman of the Hero Hockey India League, and Rajeev Mehta, Associate Vice President of the Hero Hockey India League and Secretary General of the Indian Olympic Association.

 

Other dignitaries included Rajiv Shukla, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, and Arun Jaitley, Leader of the Opposition, both members of the Hero Hockey India League Governing Council.

 

Ranchi Rhinos won the third place playoff by beating Uttar Pradesh Wizards in a penalty shootout.

Ranchi Rhinos won the third place playoff by beating Uttar Pradesh Wizards in a penalty shootout.

Final Awards

YES Bank Garv Award winner: Mark Knowles, Jaypee Punjab Warriors

Man of the Match: Nicolas Jacobi, Delhi Waveriders

Hero Goal of the Match Award: Norris Jones Lloyd, Delhi Waveriders

 

Tournament Awards

Ponty Chadha Upcoming Player of the Tournament: Akashdeep Singh, Delhi Waveriders

Airtel Maximum Goals: Jamie Dwyer, Jaypee Punjab Warriors

Star Fair Play: Ranchi Rhinos

Hero Most Valuable Player of the League: Jaap Stockmann, Jaypee Punjab Warriors

 

Source: Hockey India League

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