Comeback player S V Sunil and Yuvraj Walmiki helped India overcome a fighting New Zealand 5-4 in the second international hockey friendly on Tuesday.
India took a three-goal lead within the first 22 minutes of play. But Kiwis took advantage of poor defence and equalised early in the second half. Yuvraj's stunner off the feed of Sunil in the 60th minute once again gave India a lead and then Tushar Khandkar consolidated it three minutes later.
And though New Zealand managed to score another goal towards the end of the match, but they fell short by a goal.
Indian coach Michael Nobbs appeared a relieved man after the match. "It is good result for a training match. We again did some silly mistakes and conceded avoidable goals. Against much stronger teams like Australia, we would have been punished but we got away with the Kiwis. India will now go to Perth to play in the Lanco International Super Series, which starts on Thursday.
Junior squad named for Johor Cup
Defender Gurjinder Singh will lead the junior Indian hockey side in the six-nation Sultan Johor Cup, to be held in Malaysia from November 5. The other teams in the event are Australia, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand and Pakistan.
Squad: Harmanpreet Singh, Naveen Kumar, Gurjinder Singh (Capt), Amit Rohidas, M Sampath Kumar, Pardeep Mor, Jarmanpreet Singh, Devindar, Walmiki, Bipin Kishore Kerketta, Gurinder Singh, Thimmanna, Satbir Singh, Malak Singh, Sukhdev Singh, Ranjit Singh, M Gunasekar, Ramandeep Singh and Talwinder Singh.