8 Oct 2015

Black Sticks beaten by India

11:25 am on 8 October 2015

The Indian men's hockey team has beaten New Zealand 3-1 in the second international in Nelson to level the series.

The Black Sticks won 2-0 on Tuesday, but India's defence held the home side out on Wednesday night, levelling the series ahead of their final two games in Christchurch this weekend.

New Zealand men's hockey player Kane Russell

Black Sticks player Kane Russell Photo: PHOTOSPORT

"We started poorly, we had the edge in game one but they had that edge in game two," said coach Colin Batch.

"We did improve as the game went on but the Indian goalkeeper denied us. A lot of good opportunities were created, but we need to finish them off. We created more opportunities tonight than we did last night which is a good sign, but we still need to be more thorough in our overall game," said Batch.

India was first to score through Ramandeep Singh who picked up a rebound from goalkeeper Devon Manchester and at close range knocked it home at the end of the first quarter.

Throughout the first half the Black Sticks men had their chances to score from field goals and penalty corners, but goalkeeper Sreejesh Parattu was superb and was well supported by the Indian defenders.

In the second half, the hosts' relentless attacking efforts paid off when Kane Russell scored from a cracking penalty corner drag-flick in the 45th minute just before the hooter.

India converted their chances seven minutes later when Lalit Upadhyay scored a nice field goal to give the visitors the lead.

With little time left on the clock, the Black Sticks made the call to remove Manchester and add an extra field player.

New Zealand held possession and once again looked threatening up front, but when the ball fell to India they were scrambling in defence and Thimmaiah Chananda closed out the game with a goal in the final minute.

Both teams now go to Christchurch where they face each other on Friday night and Sunday afternoon. The Black Sticks women will take on Argentina in their final game of the series on Friday night.

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