U.P. Yoddha became the sixth and final team to qualify for the playoffs of VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 5 despite coming out on the wrong end of a 38-32 score-line against Bengaluru Bulls at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune on Sunday. Lucknow picked up the valuable one point they required to guarantee qualification by virtue of losing the encounter by a margin of less than seven points.

U.P. skipper on the night Rishank Devadiga elaborated on his team’s game-plan at the post-match press conference. “It was a pressure situation for us because we wanted to win this match but if we were losing, the plan was to keep the point margin below seven points,” he said.

Meanwhile, the second match of the night saw hosts Puneri Paltan beat Dabang Delhi K.C. 34-31 even after the northerners had made a promising start to the contest. However, Pune captain Deepak Hooda insisted that he was always confident in his side’s chances of a win.

“We were never under pressure. We did some experimenting tonight and gave a few youngsters an opportunity to play. We have good bench strength and we were confident they will perform,” he said, “But they are young and don’t have experience in such situations so because of that they came under some pressure which was clearly visible and they couldn’t play their natural game. We didn’t think that we will lose the match though. We were confident that we will bounce back and get it our way.”

Pune can climb above Haryana Steelers to second spot in Zone A with a win in their next match against them. When asked for his thoughts about the Steelers, Hooda added: “They are a very good side. All their players are playing their part. So, competing against such a team will always be tough. We have given a rest to our main players, and gave chances to the young players. As far as the next match is concerned we will return to the mat with our full-strength side. The match will be tough and interesting to watch.”