Tauranga, Jan 20: India thrashed hosts New Zealand 3-1 in the third match of the Four tions Invitatiol hockey tourment on Saturday to set up their summit clash against Olympic silver medallist Belgium here on Sunday.
India beat New Zealand to reach Four tions hockey tourney fil
India scored through Harmanpreet Singh, Dilpreet Singh and Mandeep Singh while Kane Russell was the lone scorer for New Zealand.
Belgium, on the other hand, sealed their berth after beating Japan 4-1.
New Zealand needed at least a draw to progress to the summit clash but World No.6 India proved too hot to handle.
India went ahead in the second minute after the pushback via Harmanpreet who converted a pelty corner in beginning of the first quarter.
Dilpreet (21') then sliced open their defence to double India’s lead in the second quarter.
Trailing 0-2 after the first half, New Zealand improved their game after the change of ends. They tried breaking through a stubborn Indian defence but were denied.
However, Russell (45') found an opening in the third quarter when he struck home through a pelty corner. New Zealand had cut down India’s lead to just one goal.
However, striker Mandeep ended Black Sticks’ hopes of a late comeback when he sounded the board in the 47th minute with India recording their second victory in three games.
“We started the match much better today and I saw individual improvement. It’s important for the players to keep pushing themselves,” chief coach Sjoerd Marijne said after the match.
“I am particularly happy about today’s win because the team did a lot of alyzing ahead of the match and their keenness to improve was evident in today’s match.” IANS