Warriors playing for pride against Waveriders
Jalandhar, Feb 4 : Jaypee Punjab Warriors would get a last chance to settle scores against Delhi Waveriders in the round-robin stage of the inaugural Hockey India League (HIL) when they host the league leaders in their last league encounter here at the Surjit Singh Hockey Stadium here Tuesday.
Both teams have booked their semifinal berths and the result is unlikely to affect the Waveriders, who are safely perched on the top with 44 points. The Warriors are currently third with 27 points and a win Tuesday would guarantee them a second or third place finish.
But like all other teams, the Warriors have never managed to conquer the domineering Waveriders.
The Warriors, who opened their campaign with a 1-2 loss against the Waveriders, had then brushed aside the defeat as a performance by a yet-to-settle side. But the second loss, 0-3 in New Delhi, would have definitely hurt since the team had no excuse for such a dismal performance.
Even the team management would accept that the margin of loss in both these matches was respectable only because of the performance of their Dutch custodian Jaap Stockmann, who has been brilliant under the bar throughout the tournament.
In both the matches, the experienced goalkeeper saved at least a dozen changes and it would be interesting to see how much support he can get from the defence led by Australian Mark Knowles.
Delhi Waveriders coach A.K. Bansal said that their team will maintain the momentum and play as usual.
"As we have already reached the semifinals, we won't do much in next few matches. We will continue our strategies and play as usual. But we won't take the opponents lightly and we will play for victory only," Bansal said.