Delhi Waveriders will be looking to atone for last year’s loss when they face Jaypee Punjab Warriors in their second straight final of the Hockey India League (HIL) here at the Astroturf Hockey Stadium.
Waveriders rode on Yuvraj Walmiki’s strike in the first quarter to beat Uttar Pradesh Wizards by a solitary goal in the semi-final.
It could have been a repeat of last year’s final in Monday’s title clash, but Sandeep Singh scored a brace to help Jaypee Punjab Warriors stun defending champions Ranchi Rhinos 3-2 in the second semi-final.
Both Delhi Waveriders and Jaypee Punjab Warriors were the dominant sides in the group phase. Punjab Warriors edged past Delhi Waveriders by just one point to take the top spot in the league phase.
But going in to the match what will give confidence to the Delhi Waveriders will be their past record against the Warriors. Delhi Waveriders have won four of the five encounters between the two sides so far. Last season, the Delhi Waveriders won all the three matches but this season the honours were shared in the two matches they played.
Delhi coach Cedric D’Souza said he was a happy with the team’s performance in the semi-final against Uttar Pradesh Wizards and hoped to avoid some mistakes in the final.
“We have won a tough match and qualifying for the finals is elating. Uttar Pradesh Wizards played good and put a lot of pressure on us. For the finals we will aim not to commit mistakes and we will go all out tomorrow. We have a very good team and we will use the experience judiciously tomorrow to create the right winning combination,” he said.
Delhi Captain Sardar Singh said the platform gives the team an opportunity to play with world’s best players.
“It even gives budding talent to showcase their talent. I am hoping that with such initiatives Indian Hockey will go to newer heights. Tomorrow is an important day and we hope to lift the trophy,” he said.