After defeat in the opening match of the test series, India came back strongly to beat New Zealand 3-1 to level the series in 2nd match at Nelson in the 4-match test series against the Black Sticks National Men team.
After defeating New Zealand A in practice matches, India lost 0-2 to hosts in the first test of the 4-match test series in New Zealand. But, India lifted their tempo throughout the second match and displayed attacking hockey which helped them score three goals over the hosts, while the Black Sticks could find target only once. With this win, India has now equalized the four match series 1-1, with two games left in the ongoing New Zealand Series.
India went on the attack right from the start and which helped build the initial pressure over the hosts. The opening minutes saw Chinglensana Singh attack from the right flank as he entered the D of the opponents, but the alert New Zealand defence thwarted the attempt to score. Keeping constant pressure, India earned a penalty corner in the 10th minute but unfortunately for the visiting team the ball was hit wide of the post. The 13th minute saw Birendra Lakra play a cross ball to Ramandeep Singh who opened the account for India on a rebound giving his team the 1-0 lead. The goal proved to the sole one scored in the session and the first quarter finished with India leading 1-0 over New Zealand.
India continued their attacking game in the second quarter. Right into the session, Dharamvir Singh’s brilliant move got the New Zealand defence on the backfoot but was blocked by an observant New Zealand goalkeeper. New Zealand in turn heavily capitalised themselves on counter attack but they could not break the strong defence of the Indians. In the 23rd minute New Zealand were awarded with a penalty corner and they saw their chance to equalise. But Sreejesh with his brilliant save denied the Black Sticks their opening goal. With no goals scored in the entire session, India still lead the game at 1-0 at the end of first half.
In the third quarter the spectators witnessed an exciting game of hockey from both the sides. Right into the quarter, an unmarked Gurjinder Singh had a great chance to double the lead in the 33th minute but he deflected the ball wide of the post. New Zealand immediately counter attacked and won a penalty corner in the 35th minute but Indian goalkeeper Sreejesh stood tall and cleared the danger yet again, leaving the hosts frustrated. New Zealand kept on pressing for goals and came back on equalising terms just before the session ended. Kane Russell in the 45th minute scored the equaliser for New Zealand as another penalty corner to the hosts was converted brilliantly, resulting in the third quarter tied at 1-1.
With the last quarter being the decision maker for the game, both the teams were aware that a goal from here will help them take the win. Both sides tried taking an early lead and saw New Zealand’s Simon Child penetrating the Indian circle from the left side, but an organized Indian defence held firm and did not allow them to go one up. Team India intensified the attack on the Kiwis and their effort paid off in the 52nd minute when Manpreet Singh’s accurate pass to Lalit Updhyay helped India take the lead as the later calmly finished to take the scorecard to a 2-1 lead. Last minute of the match, where India had the game already in their favour saw Nikkin Thimmaiah score the third goal to seal the match at 3-1.
India will take on New Zealand in the third match of the Series on 9th October at Christchurch at 12:30 IST and live streaming of the game can be seen here.
|Date||Local Time||Indian Team||Team||vs||Team||City|
|2 Oct.||13:00||05:30||IND||3-1||NZL- A||Auckland|
|3 Oct.||13:00||05:30||IND||2-1||NZL- A||Auckland|