Four Nations Tournament | India bow out after fourth quarter collapse against Kiwis

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Four Nations Tournament | India bow out after fourth quarter collapse against Kiwis

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SportsCafe Desk

11/26/2016

India conceded three goals in the final quarter against New Zealand as the Kiwis came from behind to beat them 3-2 to book a place in the final. Rupinder Pal Singh scored a brace for his team, but in the end, it was not enough as India succumbed to their second defeat of the tournament.

Having won the second game against Malaysia, India needed a draw to set up a final against Australia, who have won all of their matches in the group stage. New Zealand, on the other hand, had to win due to their loss against Australia in their last game.

Rupinder Pal Singh, who scored a brace in the first match against Australia and gave India the lead against Malaysia, was at it again putting India in the lead in the 18th minute from a penalty stroke. New Zealand fought back hard but India defended resolutely as they maintained the lead till the end of the third quarter.

However, the game opened up in the fourth quarter as New Zealand scored two goals in two minutes to take the lead and put themselves in the driving seat for a place in the final. Nick Ross scored the equalizer two minutes into the last quarter when he deflected a Hugo Inglis cross-field pass past Akash Chikte to draw the Kiwis level. In the very next minute, Stephen Jenness handed them the lead when he was able to tap in a loose ball.

After the goal, India started to pick up the pace but New Zealand were in no mood to let their lead slip and created a couple of great chances of their own. With four minutes to go, Akash Chikte was called into action again, and the Indian shot-stopper made two incredible saves from a penalty corner to give India some hope.

Chikte was, however, beaten again a minute later from yet another penalty corner as Hugo Inglis put the Kiwis in a commanding position with a 3-1 lead. India pulled a goal back almost immediately when Rupinder scored his fourth penalty corner of the tournament to bring India within a goal of New Zealand.

In the final minute, India did put the ball into the back of the net again but the Nikkin Thimmaiah's tap in was ruled out. Few seconds later, Rupinder's powerful shot was kept out by Richard Jjoyes, and it was the last chance of the game India had. In the end, it wasn't to be India's day. India will now face Malaysia in the third place-match tomorrow after the final between Australia and New Zealand is completed.

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