Magicians slump to tenth defeat

Mumbai: Struggling Mumbai Magicians slumped to their 10th defeat in eleven games when they lost 0-1 to Uttar Pradesh Wizards in a must-win game of the Hockey India League at the MHA-Mahindra Stadium, in Mumbai on Tuesday.

In the second match of the day, Delhi Waveriders defeated Jaypee Punjab Warriors at the Surjit Singh stadium in Jalandhar.

Magicians, kept alive in the tournament by the rule that a loss by a margin of less than two goals would still earn a point, could not be rescued from elimination despite earning another point.

Wizards, thus, took the fourth and the remaining semi-final spot in the five-team tournament with their fourth win in 11 games. They are on 27 points.

In the must-win game, Magicians showed intent only in the opening quarter before fading away against their determined set of rivals.

Wizards even wasted a penalty stroke awarded to them, but emerged on top on the back of a cleverly taken penalty corner goal by veteran Australian Luke Doerner in the second quarter.

In a fast-paced first quarter with lot of midfield play, the Magicians forced a penalty corner in the very first minute but their drag-flick king Sandeep Singh was foiled when a defender deflected his shot for a long corner.

The Wizards have one more game in hand against Delhi Waveriders. The Magicians have another game in hand, against Ranchi Rhinos on February 7.

Warriors, who have already sealed their place in the semi-finals, lost their second home game in two days.

For Waveriders, yet to be beaten in the tournament, Rupinder Pal Singh scored with a drag flick, before Oscar Deecke and Lloyd Norris-Jones scored a goal each.