India went down 1-3 to a motivated New Zealand side in their second group match at the London Olympics 2012. India have now lost both their matches - the first one they went down to the Netherlands 2-3. It is an uphill battle now for the Men in Blue to make it count, if they have to.
India started off in a blistering fashion scoring a goal in the second minute. It was Sandeep Singh in typical fashion who scored a great one through penalty corner. After that it all went downhill for India.
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New Zealand then came into their own and launched attacks after attacks. They were rewarded in the 13th minute when Andrew Hayward scored through a penalty corner. The All Blacks almost wrested the initiative from Indian then and there.
India never seemed to pick up after that and went down another goal in the 24th minute. Phillip Burrows was the scorer after New Zealand got a penalty stroke.
Late into the first half in the 29th minute, Nicholas Wilson scored another goal for the New Zealanders. This one was a field goal. India trailed 1-3 after the first half. India changed their goalie straight after the first half. Captain Bharat Chetri was replaced by P Sreejesh.
The Men in Blue started off in brilliant manner even in the second half. Sardar Singh, S V Sunil, Dharamvir Singh and Shivendra tried hard. They could not score a goal though.
India's Sardar Singh was shown a green card for no apparent fault of his and an already struggling India lost out on important time. Despite that India fought hard but their main problem was finishing in the opponent's half. Indian attack lacked the incisiveness and New Zealand took full toll of that.
Even Indian trapping was not upto the mark and such a display is not worthy of a team looking to prove themselves at the world level. New Zealand, who had lost to Korea 2-0 in their first match were too hot to handle for India.
In the 57th minute, Sandeep Singh had two fabulous opportunities but he missed twice in succession to dismiss any hopes of an Indian goal. New Zealand struck back with two penalty corners of their own but P Sreejesh was upto the mark and saved India any further blushes.
Late into the second half, V Raghunath too got a penalty corner chance but he too could not convert. It is their finishing that has let them down time and again and Michael Nobbs would be lamenting the fact that Indian forwards were not up to the mark on the day.