The finals of the Hockey India League would witness two teams, Ranchi Rays and Jaypee Punjab Warriors take on one another for the prestigious title later on Sunday at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, Delhi.
The final promises to be an interesting affair, as Rays and Warriors have looked impressive throughout the competition, right from the group stages.
After the completion of the round robbing stages, Warriors and Rays finished first and second respectively in the standings table, though there was nothing to choose between the two as they managed 35 points each after playing 10 games.
The Warriors played out a brilliant game against the defending champions, Delhi Wave Riders to book their place in the finals of the competition.
The score read, 2-0 in favour of the Warriors. Sandeep Singh scored in the third minute of the game and Augustin Mazzilli's 35th minute strike made sure they progressed into the finals of the competition.
Sandeep Singh has been the key player for the Warriors with his tally of 11 goals. It was not only Singh who looked great in the semis, but on the whole, their team played an aggressive brand of hockey, hence the Wave Riders could not settle down as they would have liked to.
Though, Wave Riders did get a fair share of chances to score a goal, which they failed.
On the other hand, it was not an easy game for the Ranchi Rays as the game had to be stretched to penalty strokes to determine the finalists.
Their opponents, Uttar Pradesh Wizards, who also had put up a good performance in the round robin stages, losing only thrice in the competition, but they were unlucky not to make the cut for the finals after their penalty shootout.
After the completion of the regular play time, the score read 1 -1. The game was only decided via sudden death as the final score read 9-8.
It was a nervy affair, which saw Ranchi Rays reach the finals of the Hockey India League.
It is a huge achievement for Ranchi, considering that they were making their debut in the competition.
Ranchi would take some confidence from their last match in the round robin stages, where they defeated Punjab Warriors, 3-2 in an interesting affair at Mohali.
Ranchi were two goals down in the game, but came back to win the match. Such spirit would be required when they play in the finals later today as well.
Where to Watch Live
The all important finals between Ranchi Rays and Jaypee Punjab Warriors will start at 7pm with Live broadcast on Star Sports 2 and Star Sports 3.