Indian hockey team’s hope of a place in the final of the 2016 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hang in the balance after suffering a 1-2 defeat to defending champions New Zealand on Wednesday. Kane Russell and Nick Wilson scored the goals for the Black Sticks, while Mandeep Singh scored India’s lone goal.
stunning 5-1 victory over arch-rivals Pakistan yesterday, India took on defending champions New Zealand with a spot in the final on the line.
S V Sunil’s and Ramandeep’s pace has been the strength of the Indian team in the tournament, and it once again showed in the 20th minute after Ramandeep made a brilliant run into the box to find the foot of the Kiwi defender for the first penalty corner of the match. Rupinder Pal Singh stepped up and produced a powerful flick, which looked destined for the top
The defending champions upped their game in the final minutes of the second quarter and earned a penalty corner in the 27th minute after Rupinder Pal Singh’s stick-check in the shooting circle was deemed as a foul by the umpire. Ryan Archibald injected the ball towards Kane Russell, and the drag-flicker scored for the Black Sticks with a push, which took a massive deflection of Manpreet’s stick to catch Harjot on the wrong foot.
However, the Black Sticks took back their lead in the 41st minute through a field goal from forward Nick Wilson. A comedy of errors in the defence by India saw Harjot palming the effort into the path of the striker, and Wilson made no mistakes from close range and smashed the ball in to restore New Zealand’s lead.
With the Kiwis once again in the lead, India pushed hard for an equaliser in the last quarter. After the goalkeeper dashed his hopes of a goal in the second quarter, Rupinder Pal Singh once again got a chance in the 47th minute to score a goal after Manpreet earned a penalty corner. The drag-flicker, who went for the top corner last time, this
India tried hard to break the Kiwi defence in the last ten