Junior World Cup hockey: India draw against New Zealand

June 9th, 2009 - 8:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Singapore, June 9 (IANS) India missed chances galore to draw 2-2 with New Zealand in a Group D league match in the junior hockey World Cup at the Seng Kang Sports and Recreation Centre here Tuesday.
India, who demolished Singapore 10-0 in the first league match Monday, came up short in the crucial encounter against New Zealand.

New Zealand scored through skipper Simon Child (10th min) and Marcus Child (32) while Indian captain Diwakar Ram (13) and Pramod Kumar (36) sounded the boards for India.

India are now at the second spot in group D with three points after a win and a draw.

They will have to put up a better performance against group leaders the Netherlands Thursday before playing their last league match against Poland Friday.

The Indian team got the better start into the game but were unable to score. Mandeep Antil squandered an easy opportunity when he was in front of New Zealand goalkeeper Devon Manchester but the shot went wide.

New Zealand penetrated the circle the first time when Simon received a pass which he converted with a backhand stroke for the lead.

India kept the pressure and gained a penalty corner. Diwakar scored the equaliser, his shot hitting the left corner of the board.

New Zealand looked nervous and made a lot of mistakes. But they were lucky as Jay Karan missed in front of the goal and India only hit the post in their next attack.

In the 26th minute, it was Mandeep again who fumbled and then Mohammad Amir Khan missed at the left post. Before half-time India had two more penalty corners but Pramod Kumar mishit right in front of the goalkeeper.

The score could have easily been overwhelming in India’s favour but it was actually

New Zealand, who took the lead through Marcus Child, going into the half-time 2-1.

The junior Black Sticks had just two serious chances but converted both while India put paid to their hopes as they failed to get their act together while finishing the moves.

A few seconds into the second half and India penetrated the circle, finding the equalizer through Pramod.

India won two more penalty corners and dominated the match, but the all-important goal never came.

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