NZ inflict another defeat on Indians

Hockey World League Final

NZ inflict another defeat on Indians

England stun Germany; Argentina upset Belgium

An attacking India tried hard but fell short 1-3 against a dominant New Zealand. The hosts slumped to their second straight defeat in the Hero Hockey World League Final at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here on Saturday. 

Stephen Jenness (40th, 50th) scored a brace for New Zealand while Shea Mcaleese (1st) chipped in with an early goal. India, led by Rupinderpal Singh, were able to translate their efforts into just one goal, that too a consolation which arrived through Mandeep Singh (68th), who scored in the dying embers of the match. 

However, India raised visions of an improved show given the way they started the match. But barring their aggressive runs into the New Zealand circle, the hosts had nothing new to offer. The passing and trapping continued to be poor and the moves lacked imagination. They also struggled to control possession of the ball.

Their attempts to breach the crowded England defense and midfield with aerial passes, too, offered them little reprieve.

The Black Sticks dominated with their long passes and inflicted the Indians with an early goal when a sprinting Mcaleese scored with a firm strike in the first minute. The hosts had their chances to equalise immediately with two penalty corners coming their way but none could be converted.

New Zealand entered the break 1-0 up and further extended the lead within 15 minutes by scoring twice. Jenness first tapped in a free hit to make it 2-0 and soon scored his second goal, when he slotted home a reverse hit.

Germany upset

It turned out to be a day of upsets. World No 1 and Olympic champions Germany and World No 5 were handed defeats by England and Argentina. World No 2 Australia, too, lost to The Netherlands, ranked three.  

In the biggest surprise of the day, Germany lost 1-2 to England, a side three rungs below them.

England scored their first goal when the match was just four minutes old. Tom Carson, lurking inside the circle, snatched the ball and smashed past Germany’s custodian Nico Jacobi. Germany levelled within seven minutes through Marko Miltkau (11th).

But Ashley Jackson (21st) once again put the World No 4 back in the lead when he converted a penalty corner through a flick. England entered the half time leading 2-1 and the score remained the same at full-time as well.

Argentina showed their opening day upset of the Netherlands was no fluke by edging Belgium 3-2.

DH News Service

Results: Argentina: 3 (Pedro Ibarra 6th, Matias Paredes 50th, Facundo Callioni 61st) bt Belgium: 2 (Tom Boon 6th, 34th).

Netherlands: 1 (Billy Bakker 38th) bt Australia: 0.  

England: 2 (Tom Carson 4th, Ashley Jackson 21st) bt Germany: 1( Marco Miltkau 11th).

New Zealand: 3 (Shea Mcaleese 1st, Jenness Stephen 40th, 50th) bt India: 1 (Mandeep Singh 68th).

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