Johor Bahru: Parvinder Singh and Varun Kumar scored a goal each as defending champions India opened their campaign in the Sultan of Johor Cup with a 2-1 win over New Zealand at Taman Daya Hockey Stadium, here on Sunday.
In a hard fought match, India took an early lead through Parvinder's field goal just five minutes into the match and they kept the lead in the first half.
India doubled its lead in the 43rd minute when Varun Kumar made no mistake in converting a penalty corner. New Zealand reduced the margin in the 53rd minute through a penalty corner conversion by Nic Woods.
Just before the hooter, New Zealand earned another penalty corner but they failed to convert it.
"Most of the boys in our team represented the country for the first time in today's match and I am happy with the performance of the team. We will keep on improving match by match as the tournament progresses," India coach Harendra Singh said.
India will now take on Great Britain in their second match on Monday.