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HIL 2017 SFs: Goalkeeper endear as Kalinga and Mum (2/25/2017)
--s2h team
Goalkeeper endear as Kalinga and Mumbai enter Sunday HIL Final

Amazing goalkeepers Andrew Charter and David Harte played pivotal role in their teams, Kalinga Lancers and Dabang Mumbai, respectively winning the tight semifinal encounters and put their teams in to the Sunday final of the Hockey India League. While Charter charted Sudden Death route (8-7) for Kalinga's second final entry the FIH Player of the Year David Harte held his forte solidly to safeguard solitary goal lead till the end to pave way for Dabang Mumbai's maiden entry into the HIL Final.

Fittingly both got the coveted Man of the Match award

undefined In a pulsating semifinal, where the teams seemed to have reserved their best, Kalinga Lancers' goalie Andrew Charter came out triumphantly saving twice in the penalty shoot out and then vital one in the sudden death to give his side second straight Hockey India League final entry. Full time score stood 4-4, shoot out 6-6 and sudden death score 8-7. On the other hand, Robbert Kemperman's early penalty corner goal taken in field goal fashion (2-0) was suffice for the pool toppers to overcome gritty Delhi Waveriders to enter Sunday Final.

Aran Zelewski converted the all important goal in the sudden death after Akashdeep missed out for the Kalinga's day of joy (8-7).

Kalinga otherwise were cruising to final with 4-2 lead till less than three minutes for the hooter, but Uttar Pradesh came up with a stunning leveller to drag the Kalinga juggernaut into the shoot out vortex.

The Thanks to hardworking Uttar Pradesh Wizard's never-say-give up attitude, Akashdeep Singh struck a field goal to clear the two goal deficit to take the match to cruelling shoot out and sudden death.

In the shoot out, Lalit Upadhyay gave perfect saviour goal to level 2-2 after his captain failed. In the sudden death, Moritz again failed, so also Akashdeep Singh whose shot hit the top bar agonizingly.

At this juncture, Aran Zaleswki came up with a peach of a conversion to deny hithto solid looking PR Sreejesh to take his team to the Sunday final.

Florent van Aubel scored in the sudden death for which Lalit replied. Before that Mazzli and Moritz missed out. When Akashdeep missed out, Aran Zaleski came out with the semifinal clincher.

The first semifinal started with a brisk note in the first quarter, contrary to the next which saw a flurry of action from the Wizards but unable to move the scoreboard.

Two Belgians in its rank, Van Doren, who won the FIH Young Player Award pipping Harmanpreet Singh, and Aubel played big role in UP Wizard forging ahead in the fourth minute itself.

Van Doren received a pass from near top of the circle, which he sent in to the D through a fast slap, where his colleague in Belgium team Aubel put the stick in perfect angle to deflect it to the goal (2-0). Four minutes later, even though penalty corner process failed at the circle top, a reluctant push between the legs saw alert Devinder getting the feed he was waiting for, and taps in to goal to narrow down the lead to solitary goal (1-2). Second quarter witnessed hectic effort from UPW, but the combination of Ramandeep Singh and Akashdeep Singh just missed chances after chances that their midfield created.

At least thrice in the spell, Akashdeep Singh either hit wide or his shots were so feeble that Andrew Charter easily palmed it away.

At half time, UPW had four times more circle penetration than Kalinga, but found wanting in making goals. Gonzalo's poor form with PCs continued as he missed out twice, while Raghu too did not make any tent with the lone strike he got till the first half.

AWARDS SF1:

Goal of the Match: Billy Baker
Young Achiever of the Match: Dipsan Tirkey
Most Entertaining Player of the Match: Florent van Aubel
Man of the Match: Andrew Charter
AWARDS SF2:

Goal of the Match: Robbert Kempermen
Young Achiever of the Match: Affan Yousaf
Most Entertaining Player of the Match: Robbert Kemperman
Man of the Match: David Harte

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