India dished out a strong performance, something that was missing, against New Zealand in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2017 match to take home bronze medal. The two teams after missing out on finals berth squared off for a 3rd/4th place playoff.
The first quarter of the encounter ended without a goal but India dominated by keeping the possession of the ball. It did not take India long to open the scoring in the second quarter as Rupinder Pal Singh converted a penalty corner in the 17th minute to hand his side a lead.
Rupinder then doubled his scoring and India’s lead by converting another penalty corner in the 27th minute. At half-time India were comfortably placed with the scoreline reading 2-0. Following the action-packed second quarter, the penultimate quarter was a goalless affair. Also Read- Roelant Oltmans says HIL has big impact on development of foreign players
In last quarter, SV Sunil, who turned 28 today, netted a field goal in the 48th-minute to make it 3-0 for India. By this time, Black Sticks were almost out of the contest. Towards the end, things got worse for New Zealand when Talwinder Singh’s reverse hit made it 4-0 amidst heavy rains. Talwinder’s goal in last minute summed the game up for New Zealand.
This was the second meeting between the two sides in this year’s tournament. Earlier, India had defeated New Zealand 3-0 in a league match. India missed an opportunity to make it to the finals after losing 0-1 to Malaysia on Friday.