After a good match against Korea yesterday, India went down (1-2) against Black Sticks as Andy Hayward scored a late goal in their 2nd game of Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2015. Korea defeated Canada by 3-1, while defending champions Australia edged past gritty hosts by 3-2 in the other matches of the day.
Black Sticks Captain Simon Child and Andy Hayward goals helped them seal the win while it was Akashdeep Singh who scored the lone goal for India. Incidentally, three of them play in same team in Hockey India League, Delhi Waveriders.
After a goalless first half, Black Sticks captain Simon Child put the Kiwis on the scoreboard in the 38th minute after getting a feather touch on a hard shot at goal from Shay Neal in goalmouth melee when Indian defence failed to clear the ball at multiple occasions. India responded with an equaliser just 5 minutes later when Akashdeep Singh pounced on a penalty corner deflection to slip the ball through goalkeeper Devon Manchester’s outstretched leg.
But five minutes from fulltime, Andy Hayward delivered the winning blow with a powerful penalty corner flick into the left hand corner after setting himself at nice angle to find the gap between Indian Goalkeeper PR Sreejesh and postman.
Black Sticks Head coach Colin Batch said it was pleasing to be able to lift the intensity and hunt out a win for the second straight game. “After India equalised I was impressed that we were able to find something and win the game. This group has a lot of belief that we can get results. Ryan Archibald did really well controlling the midfield in some difficult situations and plenty of the other guys stepped up today,” he said.
The result sees New Zealand remain joint leaders on the tournament ladder with a maximum six points ahead of tomorrow’s rest day. The Black Sticks are back in action against Canada at 8:00pm on Wednesday (NZ time), with live coverage on SKY Sport 3. India will play its next match against host team Malaysia on 8th April 2015 at 1740 IST.