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HIL: Mumbai Magicians to play for pride

Posted on Feb 06, 06:01PM | IANS

Mumbai, Feb 6 : Bottom placed Dabur Mumbai Magicians would have nothing but their pride to defend when they take on second placed Ranchi Rhinos in their last league encounter of the Hockey India League here Thursday.

The Magicians went into their last two league encounters in a must-win situation to keep alive their semi-finals hopes. But a 0-1 loss against Uttar Pradesh Wizards Tuesday was enough to condemn them to the fifth and final spot and thereby push them out of semi-final reckoning.

The hosts, who have gathered 15 points from 11 outings, have managed to win only one match in the entire tournament and the team's defensive frailties have meant that the Magicians could never launch a serious challenge in the competition.

The Rhinos have already secured a second place in the league standings and would be facing either Jaypee Punjab Warriors or Uttar Pradesh Wizards in the semi-finals on their home turf.

Magicians skipper Sandeep Singh said that they will give their best. "Our team didn't perform well through-out the league and we didn't get the results we wanted. But we will try for a good result in the last match," he said.