In what was thriller of a match, India lost to New Zealand 2-1 today at Ipoh, Malaysia at Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2016. The goal scorers were Kane Russell & Nicholas Wilson for New Zealand while the sole goal for India came as a hit by Talwinder Singh which got aptly deflected by Mandeep Singh.
The match started off slowly, as both teams tried to keep the focus on the possession. India got their first penalty corner in the second quarter which couldn’t be converted as a drag flick from Rupinder Pal Singh saw Devon Manchester in the way. New Zealand got their first penalty corner just after that which was aptly flicked into the Indian goal by Kane Russell. Scoreboard read 1-0 in the favor of Black Sticks. The teams went for half time break with same score.
Entering the second half of the match, India started off strongly and six minutes into the quarter they made first inroad to the Black Sticks goal with a Talwinder Singh shot timely deflected by Mandeep Singh.
But this equalizer couldn’t stay for long as New Zealand hit back with another goal which came off a rebound that went straight to Nicholas Wilson who did no mistake. And here was lead again on the scorecard which read India 1-2 New Zealand.
The remaining time was a story of India trying desperately for another equalizer, but couldn’t make any inroads despite some very close moments. New Zealand won the match 2-1. India needs now to win their next game against Malaysia to get to final.
In a post match conference, Indian Chief Coach Roelant Oltmans defended the team & said-
“We played a strong game, considering the conditions we must consider ourselves a bit unlucky. Both the New Zealand goalkeepers had a great game.”
“We get another opportunity to get to the final though, and are focussed on winning our next game against the hosts Malaysia to get that spot,” he further added.
India will play against Malaysia at Friday, April 15.