India record facile 3-0 win over New Zealand in Azlan Shah tie
Ipoh (Malaysia), April 30 (IANS): India recorded a facile 3-0 victory over New Zealand in their second match of the 26th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament here on Sunday.
Defender Harmanpreet Singh converted two penalty corners. With this win, India now have four points from two outings.
Mandeep Singh opened the Indian account with a fine deflection in the 23rd minute before Harmanpreet produced two fine drag-flicks to double the tally.
The experimental New Zealand team cracked three shots at goal in the first quarter before the Indian team settled down to dominate the match thereafter.
It was New Zealand who earned the first penalty corner in the sixth minute, but it could not pose any danger as the low shot went straight to goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh, who kicked it out of the circle.
The Kiwis had two early shots at the citadel before Akashdeep Singh took an ambitions try from the top of the circle in the 10th minute, only to see his reverse drive soar high over the cross-bar.
Two minutes later, Manpreet Singh sent a diagonal ball into the circle to S.V. Sunil, who shot wide with only goalkeeper Devon Manchester to beat.
India broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute when Mandeep did well to deflect the shoulder-high ball past the goalkeeper after Chinglensana Singh sent a reverse shot from top of the box.
Harmanpreet then came into the picture with a drag-flick off the first penalty corner. The stinging shot went into the left corner of the board to make it 2-0 in the 27th minute.
Harmanpreet came back to round off the Indian scoring with another penalty corner conversion, this time sending a soaring drag-flick into the top corner of the net in the 47th minute.