"There is lot of time to go for the World Cup and we are showing improvement. If we keep the pace we have a fair chance to win the World Cup. We are moving forward step by step" - Indian coach, Harendra Singh
Feb 28

Written by: Sundeep Misra
Saturday, February 28, 2009 

India 1 New Zealand 1
Half time: India 1 - 0
Goal scorers : NZ – Dean Couzins. India Shivendra Singh

India blew up a brilliant chance of wrapping up the four Test series when they allowed the Black Sticks to claw their way back to a 1 – 1 draw on Saturday at the Lloyd Elsmore Hockey Stadium.

New Zealand scored the equalizer in the final minute of the game to keep the four Test series against India alive.

On Sunday, the final Test will decide the series. India drew the first Test 1- 1- and won the second 2 – 1 in Wellington last weekend.

It was defender Dean Couzins who got the all-important goal for New Zealand. Hardly seconds were left on the clock when the Kiwis pushed all 11 players into the striking circle circle. Couzins skillfully picked up a free hit from Phil Burrows to push home from close range.

The draw was well-earned for New Zealand after they responded to a coach Shane McLeod’s call for increased ball speed and tempo in the second half.

With the Indian defence showing signs of cracking, Burrows and Simon Child maintained the pressure and the Kiwis were justly rewarded with a last gasp goal. Three penalty corners also went New Zealand’s way in the second half.  India was not awarded any.

India need to thank their keeper Bajit Singh who was outstanding, making several brilliant saves which included a Richard Petherick drag flick that was followed up by a cracking reverse shot on the rebound by Child.

India’s lead came against the run of play, in the 13th minute when a New Zealand defensive error allowed Shivendra Singh into the circle where he made no mistake nailing home a waist high shot.

India dominated the first half, employing a fast breaking counter attack but that dominance never translated into goals.

The fourth test will be played at Lloyd Elsmore Hockey Stadium tomorrow starting at 1.15pm.

Match date: 22/02/09
India 2 New Zealand 1
Half time – 1 - 1
Goal scorers : NZ- Simon Child.  India – Tushar Khandekar, Sandeep Singh

India earned a well deserved 2 – 1 victory over the Black Sticks in Wellington on Sunday. They now lead the four Test series 1-0 after a draw in the first Test.

The two teams went into half time tied 1 – 1 after the Kiwis repeated Saturday’s dream start scoring in the fourth minute. Brad Shaw opened up the defence pushing  a nice ball down the left to Simon Child who struck home from an acute angle.

Good defence by the New Zealanders contained the Indians until five minutes before half time when Tushar Khandekar received a free hit driven from the right, turned and nailed a reverse stick shot from close range.

The deciding goal of the match came in the 40th minute and had an inevitable feel to it. Sandeep Singh stepped up for his third penalty corner and finally hit the back of the net finding the high left corner with his renowned drag flick.

India dominated possession and territory from there on, the New Zealanders guilty of too many turnovers.

The Black Sticks were given a final opportunity to equalize in the final minute of the match, but the pull out was not accurate and Richard Petherick’s drag flick flew over the goal.



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