Four Nations Invitational Hockey: India march into finals after beating New Zealand 3-1 in last round-robin game

Tauranga: A structured defence and clinical attack saw India beat hosts New Zealand 3-1 in the final round robin match of the double-leg Four Nations Invitational Hockey Tournament at Blake Park. India will play the final on Sunday against Belgium, who beat Japan 4-1.

It was India's young brigade Harmanpreet Singh (2), Dilpreet Singh (12) and Mandeep Singh (47) who scored after the team had suffered a 0-2 loss against Belgium in their previous match. India's mantra was to play aggressive and that's exactly what they did right from the start.

India

India to play Belgium in the finals after going past New Zealand. Image courtesy: Twitter @TheHockeyIndia

Their first breakthrough came as early as the second minute of the match when a circle entry fetched them a PC created by Mandeep Singh. It was Harmanpreet Singh who stepped up for the drag flick and he was impeccable and fierce as he improvised the injection to flick the ball past New Zealand goal keeper Richard Joyce. The early goal undoubtedly put the Black Sticks on the backfoot.

The next few minutes saw India hold their defence with Rupinder Pal Singh, who was rested for the match against Belgium, leading the charge of defenders as their man-to-man marking was spot on, not allowing New Zealand to make easy forays into India's circle.

India colt Dilpreet Singh, who had scored two goals in his first outing for the national side, was impressive when he picked up the assist to put the ball past the New Zealand goal post in the 21st minute, taking India's lead to a comfortable 2-0.

India held on to the lead with a well-rounded performance. Though India conceded a PC in the 42nd minute which was well-executed by New Zealand's Kane Russell, India didn't drop their momentum and continued their attack swiftly and tactically.

In the 47th minute, Mandeep Singh was excellent in the circle to score an impressive goal to earn India a 3-1 score- line.

"We started the match much better today and I saw individual improvement. Its important for the players to keep pushing themselves. I am particularly happy about today's win because the team did a lot of analysing ahead of the match and their keenness to improve was evident," said chief coach Sjoerd Marijne.


Updated Date: Jan 20, 2018 14:07 PM

Also Watch

It's A Wrap: Omerta star Rajkummar Rao in conversation with Parul Sharma
  • Thursday, April 26, 2018 In the Kanjarbhat community, a campaign against 'virginity tests' is slowly gaining ground
  • Thursday, April 19, 2018 Watch: National-level skater and coach Dhwanit Rele trains and nurtures budding athletes
  • Monday, May 14, 2018 FOMO Episode 1: Google Assistant, This is America, Sonam's wedding & Global Warming
  • Saturday, May 19, 2018 Social Media Star: Rajkummar Rao and Bhuvan Bam open up about selfie culture, online trolls

Also See