HAMILTON: Indian men’s hockey team registered a fighting 3-2 win over hosts New Zealand in their opening match at the second-leg of Four-Nation Invitational Tournament, here. Lalit Upadhyay (7th minute), Harjeet Singh (32nd) and Rupinder Pal Singh (36th) scored for India while New Zealand’s goals came from sticks of Daniel Harris (23rd) and Kane Russell (37th). The home team were dominant early on and were quick to make potential circle penetrations but the Indian defence stood tall. India made a breakthrough soon when skipper Manpreet Singh found Vivek Sagar Prasad Swiftly moving towards the top of the circle. But Vivek’s reverse hit rebounded off the New Zealand keeper and found Lalit who scored past Devon Manchester to give India a 1-0 lead.The second quarter saw New Zealand fight back, constantly attacking the Indian circle which kept Indian goalkeeper PR Sreejesh busy at the post. One such circle penetration won New Zealand their first penalty corner of the match but Russell’s drag flick was well saved by Sreejesh. An error by an Indian defender saw New Zealand equalise in the following minutes when Harris scored from a rebound. India came back with a fresh approach after the change of ends and striker Mandeep Singh was clever to earn their first penalty.
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