The visitors India men and Argentina women edged past the Black Sticks teams by just one goal respectively, at Marist Park at St Bede’s College in Christchurch (New Zealand) tonight. The winning goals came in the last few minutes of the matches.
With this win, India are leading in the series by 2-1, as India lost the 1st match of the series by 2-0 and won second match by 3-1 at Nelson. In the last match of the series, the Black Sticks Men face India in the South Island Tour at 13:00 local time i.e. 05:30 IST this Sunday in Christchurch. Live streaming of the India vs New Zealand test series is available here.
In the men’s game, India was the first to get on the scoreboard when Rupinder Pal Singh scored from a penalty corner in the 10th minute. The Black Sticks began to settle into the game during the second quarter. Against the run of the play, in the 22nd minute Auckland’s Jared Panchia superbly beat the keeper in a one-on-one contest at close range to tie it up, on a counter-attack when Black Sticks were playing with 10 players, because of a green card suspension.
The score remained until some nice counter-attack resulted in Ramandeep Singh scoring a field goal to make it 2-1 to the visitors late in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, the Black Sticks really put the pressure on and North Harbour’s Steve Edwards found the space at the top of the circle and clinically smacked it home to get the Kiwis back in the game.
It could have gone either way in the final five minutes, but it was Dharamvir Singh who scored a field goal in the last minute to give the India men the win.
It was a big occasion for Nick Haig who was playing his first international in front of a home crowd.
|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|
It was the final game for the Black Sticks Women who walk away with a series draw after going down 1-2 this evening. The Black Sticks Men will look to draw the series with their last game on Sunday following a 2-3 loss tonight.
In the women’s game it was end-to-end hockey in the first half with the Black Sticks unable to break through some solid Argentinian defence. There were two penalty corners awarded to Argentina in the first half and they made it count on the second attempt when Noel Barrionuevo got it passed goalkeeper Amelia Gibson to give her side a 1-0 lead.
The tempo stepped up in the second half and the Black Sticks were awarded numerous penalty corners and it was Kat Henry that converted and found the equaliser in the 50th minute. As the clock counted down, both teams fought hard to find the series winning goal and with a sold-out crowd the Black Sticks had the locals off their seats and on their side.
But it was Julia Gomes who spoiled the Black Sticks party, converting a penalty corner with three minutes left to secure the win. Black Stick Striker Olivia Merry was playing her 100th international tonight and she described it as a “bitter-sweet” experience.
“Playing your 100th in front of a sold-out Christchurch home crowd is an absolutely awesome feeling, but to not come away with the win is gut-wrenching. We didn’t come out firing in the second quarter and once Argentina went 1-0 up it was hard. They are a very skilful side, and they had the confidence and were able to get another goal with little time left to play,” said Merry.
Merry was joined by Midlands Natasha Fitzsimons who played her 50th international tonight.