Johor Bahru, Malaysia, 12 October 2014: Defending Champions India opened their campaign in the 4th Sultan of Johor Cup with a winning start as they defeated New Zealand 2-1 in their first match played at Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Bahru, Malaysia today.
In a hard fought match between the two teams, India took an early lead through Parvinder Singh’s field goal just five minutes into the match. The Indian team made some good moves in their circle and showed a very safe and intense game play giving a tough competition to the opposition. On the other hand, it became difficult for New Zealand to get out of their D and penetrate any goal against India in the first half. India led 1-0 at the halftime.
India doubled its lead in the 43rd minute when Varun Kumar made no mistake in converting a penalty corner. New Zealand reduced the margin in the 53rdminute through a penalty corner converted by Nic Woods. Just before the hooter, New Zealand earned another penalty corner but they failed to convert it. The match finished with a 2-1 on scorecard in favour of India.
Speaking on the first win, Coach Mr. Harendra Singh said “Most of the boys in our team represented the country for the first time in today’s match and I am happy with the performance of the team. We will keep on improving match by match as the tournament progresses”.
India will now take on Great Britain in their second match on 13 October 2014 at 1335 hrs IST and the match will be telecasted live on Star Sports 1.