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Erratic India held by gritty NZ

india Updated: Jun 09, 2009 22:32 IST
Erratic India held by gritty NZ

India frittered away numerous chances to settle for a disappointing 2-2 draw against New Zealand in their second opening round group match of the FIH Junior Hockey World Cup at the Seng Kang Sports Complex in Singapore on Tuesday.

The Black Sticks, who led 2-1 at the lemon break, scored their goals from two stray chances inside the Indian circle, while their rival forwards missed easy opportunities and especially captain Diwakar Ram disappointed as he converted only one out of the six penalty corners.

In the 10th minute Kiwi skipper Simon Child gave his side the lead against the run of the play. However, India drew parity shortly with Diwakar making no mistake in finding the net with a low drag flick past Kiwi custodian Devon Manchester from their first short corner in the 13th minute.

But from thereon, India seemed to have lost their grip and momentum and committed numerous errors with gross mispassing amongst their midfielders and forwards.

The Indian errors ultimately bore fruit for their opponents in the late stages of the opening half when central midfielder Arun Panchia set up an unmarked Marcus Child, who wrong footed Indian goalkeeper Choubey to sent home the ball and see his side go into the breather with a 2-1 lead.

After the breather, the Indians stepped on the accelerator and restored parity within two minutes. Antil and Pramod combined well on the right with the latter pushing into an empty goal after drawing out Kiwi goalkeeper Manchester.