New Delhi: Delhi Wizards made a winning start to their World Series Hockey campaign, defeating Karnataka Lions 3-2 in their first match of the cash-rich tournament on Friday.
Wizards scored a goal each in the first three quarters through Vikramjeet Singh (2nd minute), ace Pakistani forward Shakeel Abbasi (19th) and captain Rajpal Singh (51st) to pocket full three points from the game.
The Lions tried hard to force a comeback into the match in the last two quarters and scored two goals through four-time Olympian Dhanraj Pillay (36th) and Ravipal Singh (48th).
The match was a dull affair as both sides lacked flair and intensity.
Veterans like Dhanraj and Arjun Halappa, both representing Karnataka Lions, were clearly passed their prime as they were found wanting.
The Wizards were by far the better side on display and looked more coordinated compared to their opponents from Karnataka.
Wizards broke the deadlock as early as in the second minute when Vikramjeet converted the Delhi side`s first penalty corner. Abbasi then doubled the lead in the 19th minute scoring a beautiful field goal from German Philip Sunkel`s pass from the left flank.
However, the match turned out to be more intense after the change of ends as the Lions scored two quick goals to drew parity in the match.
Pillay first reduced the margin for Lions and then Ravipal restored parity with a powerful hit from top of the D after receiving a pass from skipper Arjun Halappa.
But captain Rajpal ensured a winning start to Wizards` campaign by scoring the winner in the 51st minute. The Wizards will next play Pune Strykers at the same venue tomorrow, while Lions will travel to Jalandhar to face Sher-E-Punjab.