India lost their last league match to New Zealand 2-3 in the four nations Hockey tournament played at Melbourne finished just a few minutes ago. Despite leading, India made lots of mistakes and as a result, the Indian team could not qualify for the finals. In the first quarter, both teams tried to score goals but could not convert chances into goals. India earned the first penalty corner of the match in the 15th minute but it was well saved the New Zealand goalkeeper. At the end of first quarter, the scores were 0-0.
The second quarter began well for the Indian as they earned a penalty stroke. Rupinder Pal Singh scored the goal to give India a 1-0 lead. The Indian team dominated the play and with good attacking play the Men in Blue put pressure on the Kiwis defence. Going into half time, India led 1-0.
In the 3rd quarter, New Zealand attacked more and put pressure on the Indian defence. New Zealand tried their best to level the scores but the Indian defence was up to the mark and never allowed the Kiwis team to attack. At the end of 3rd quarter, India still led 1-0.
The fourth quarter began well for the Kiwis as they equalised with an excellent field goal by Nick Ross two minutes in. 2 minutes later, New Zealand took the lead as Jacob Smith scored a brilliant field goal. This put the Indian team on the backfoot and New Zealand began to show off their full range of skills.
In the 11th minute, New Zealand earned a penalty corner. It was well saved by Akash Chikte but rebound shot from Ingles gave the Kiwis 3-1 lead. In the next minute, India earned a penalty corner and Rupinder Pal Singh scores the goal to reduce the margin to 2-3. The Men in Blue showed urgency in the final minutes. In the last minute, India scored a goal but it was disallowed by the umpire. Soon after the Indian team earned a penalty corner but was well saved by the New Zealand keeper. India lost the match 2-3.
This will be another painful loss for the men, which was their second of the tournament following a 2-3 loss at the hands of the hosts, Australia in their opener. They seemed to be back on track with 4-2 win over Malaysia in their last game.
A lot was expected from Roelant Oltmans’ men who came into the tournament with arguably the strongest team amongst the four teams and riding high on confidence after their recent triumph in the Asian Champions Trophy.
India will now play Malaysia in the 3rd- 4th playoff match tomorrow.