Friday, the 13th is considered an unlucky day in Western superstition. It was the Indians, however, today, who seemed to fall victim to this phenomenon a few times today.
A questionable decision led to a PC (Penalty Corner), which the Indians referred in vain and therefore lost their right to do so for the rest of the match.
The PC, in question, then resulted in a raised ball that could have been deemed dangerous, but instead, ended up as New Zealand's third goal. In what proved to be a double whammy for Sjoerd Marijne's boys, they had no option left to refer and had to take the decision in their stride.
"We were not lucky with the referees. A lot went against us. But we must not search for excuses. We need to convert more as we created enough chances." Sjoerd Marijne told us after the match.
The Indians also found the post twice, instead of the net. Had even one of these agonizingly close hits found their target, the end result may have been different.
"Disappointing, when we created so many chances." opined the Indian coach.
While bad fortune did play a part in India's downfall, they also only had themselves to blame for the most part. Manpreet Singh lost the ball outside the Indian circle in a disastrous fashion and, the Black Sticks lapped the gift up with relish to take a 2-0 lead.
At one stage, New Zealand were down to nine players, with Arun Panchia being shown a yellow card and Jared Panchia joining him with a green. Far from being bogged down, the 'Black Sticks' kept up their attacks and, India could do little to capitalize even with a two-man advantage.
Rupinder Pal Singh, who had limped away at the end of the England encounter, was on the sidelines, but India missed him on the pitch. The Indian defence looked deficient without the seasoned Rupinder and were unable to use his expertise with the drag-flicks as well.
On the subject of PCs, New Zealand charged the Indian battery down with such pace and fury, that the hapless drag-flickers were unable to even execute most of the flicks and the ball was smothered or deflected away with precision.
Harmanpreet did score off PCs, but India's overall conversion percentage has not been too good at Gold Coast.
India will meet England (who lost to Australia 1-2 in the second semifinal), to battle it out for the bronze, in what promises to be another epic encounter between the two closely-matched sides.
Here is how you can watch the action.
Event: Men's Hockey
Venue: Gold Coast
Date: 14 April 2018
Time: 2:30 pm Indian Standard Time (IST)
Telecast: Sony Six/Sony Ten 2/Sony Ten 3
Live Streaming: Sony Liv
Live Updates: Sportskeeda