India, banking on some good performances recently from Rupinder Pal Singh, tried their best to make it to the finals of the Four nations hockey 2016 in Melbourne, Australia, but lost that place to New Zealand. In a thrilling encounter on Saturday, the Black Sticks dished out an impressive comeback 3-2 victory against India.
New Zealand now renew their Trans-Tasman rivalry with Australia in the final of the competition, scheduled for Sunday. India, on their part, take on Malaysia for a battle of the 3rd and 4th place.
Rupinder gave India the crucial lead in the 18th minute of the match on Saturday via a penalty stroke and interestingly, the scoreline read 1-0 for India following the end of the first three quarters. A blockbuster was set for the fourth and final quarter of the game.
It seemed like New Zealand got a new dose of life as they entered Q4 and dished out an unbelievable three goals in a span of 12 minutes. Nick Ross scored the equaliser in the 47th minute, Jacob Smith gave Black Sticks the lead the very next minute, while Hugo Inglis completed the demolition job in the 57th minute to make the scoreline read 3-1 in favour of New Zealand.
Following Inglis' goal, it was Rupinder again who scored another goal for India to reduce the gap in the scoreline. However, there was no time left for Roelant Oltmans' side to make a comeback.
A showdown between Australia and New Zealand is always one to watch out for all around the world. The Kookaburras, earlier in the day, thrashed Malaysia 5-0 in their hockey match.
Australia vs New Zealand four nations hockey 2016 final schedule
Date: Nov 27
Time: 6:30 pm local time (1 pm IST)
TV guide: Fox Sports 3 (Australia), Sky Sport 1 (New Zealand).
India vs Malaysia four nations hockey third-place playoff schedule
Date: Nov 27
Time: 10:30 am IST
TV guide in India: None.