India’s men’s team overcame New Zealand in the final, where it mattered the most, as five different scorers from the Men in Blue helped them win 5-0. This was also the perfect revenge for the India B side that lost 2-1 to the Black Sticks in the group stages before beating Japan to reach the final.
Both the sides looked cautious in the beginning as they tried turning over the ball in the midfield but India were the first to get a penalty corner in as early as the seventh minute. And while they couldn’t do much in the first attempt, Harmanpreet Singh didn’t miss his drag-flick when the PC was re-awarded.
With the first quarter ending at 1-0, India got the confidence to push in the second one. And with Shamsher Singh doubling the lead in the 18th minute, New Zealand tried to push hard but could make only two circle entries in the entire second quarter.
India had sniffed blood by now and Nilakanta Sharma was seen scoring the third in the 22nd minute, before Gursahibjit Singh completed the fourth goal after collecting a brilliant assist from Vivek Prasad. If that wasn’t enough, Mandeep Singh scored the fifth one from a penalty corner within the first half itself, to put the outcome beyond any doubt.
The second half saw New Zealand creating chances initially but they were psychologically broken and it remained mostly uneventful. "We played very well. We managed to score our opportunities at the start of the game," Harmanpreet said after the triumph, reported PTI.
"I think the final was always going to be tough, we lost to New Zealand earlier. But we had been having practice sessions after that and worked on our mistakes to win today," he added.
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