Azlan Shah Hockey: Heartbreak for India as Late Kiwi Strike Dents Hopes of Draw
Andy Hayward's goal in the dying minutes denied India a chance to split points with New Zealand in the Azlan Shah hockey tournament.
India, once again, faced the wrath of losing matches in the last minutes, as they conceded the winning goal to the New Zealand with five minutes to spare for the final hooter.(India Lose to New Zealand)
Playing a tight match, both the teams were off to a tight spot, with no team letting the other to score. With six minutes left for the first quarter, the game was stopped for nearly ten minutes due to heavy rain. Just as the match resumed, Ramandeep Singh got the first chance to take the lead as he managed to get an open space. But, he instead hit the ball straight handing the ball directly to the goalkeeper.(Highlights)
With no team scoring, the match headed to a fiery second quarter, in which the Indians managed a penalty corner in 17th minute. A poor injection however, spoilt all chances for India.
Exactly ten minutes later, a foul by Kothajit gave away a penalty corner to New Zealand. Nick Haig, attempted this time, but the target was too off to find the net.
After a goalless first half, New Zealand scored the first goal in the 38th minute, after skipper Simon Child slightly gave an angle to Shay Neal's hit.
Five minutes later, India found the equalizer, through Akashdeep who hit a rebound off V.R. Raghunath's shot during a penalty corner.
In the fourth quarter, India got a final chance to take lead, after they earned their third penalty corner. But, once again poor injection cost them the match.
The Blacksticks on the other hand, capitalised on their last opportunity, the penalty corner in the 55th minute. Andy Hayward, who scored the third goal against Malaysia in the last match, once again created the same magic in the last minutes as he flicked the ball on the right of the net.
India will next play hosts Malaysia on April 8.