India outmuscle New Zealand in Azlan Shah Cup

Blacksticks Stephen Jenness

Blacksticks Stephen Jenness

India came up with extraordinary skills to excel against New Zealand as it defeated New Zealand 3-0 in its second match at the 26th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup tournament here on an entertaining Sunday.

However, once, Tom Craig put the Aussies in front by the 11th minute, the Malaysia squad under coach Stephen Van Huizen crumbled under pressure, allowing another two goals in the 23rd and 27th minutes, scored by Trent Mitton before Craig made it 4-1 in the 38th minute.

Runners-up at the last edition, India would look to go one step further as they were runners-up to nine-time champions Australia a year ago.

The Black Sticks kept the Indian goalkeeper P.R Sreejesh busy through the first 15 minutes forcing him to save as many as three goals. Mandeep and Harmanpreet Singh were the scorers.

Mandeep Singh opened India's account in the 24th minute by deflecting Chinglensana Singh's hit.

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Great Britain are the third team on four points from two outings, but Australia lead the standings on basis of their superior goal different, following by India and Britain in that order.

Akashdeep Singh's ambitious shot from the top of the circle in the 10th minute, soared high over the cross-bar.

Three minute before half-time, India were awarded a penalty corner.

India had multiple chances in the final quarter of the match to increase their lead but Harmanpreet and Rupinder Pal Singh failed to convert their respective penalty corners and won the match 3-0. Defender Harmanpreet Singh then doubled the lead just before halftime with a powerful drag flick.

Two minutes later, Manpreet Singh sent a diagonal ball into the circle to S.V. Sunil, who shot wide. Though India's drag-flick experts were up against one of the best goalkeepers in Devon Manchester on most occasions, it was apparent that India weren't exploiting the full range of their set-piece variations yet. Oltmans said playing this game was special for the three juniors - Gurinder Singh, Manpreet Singh Jr and Sumit, who made their senior worldwide debut today.