India knocked out Hockey World Cup after shootout heartbreak against New Zealand
India were knocked out of the ongoing Hockey World Cup after the hosts endured a tough 4-5 defeat in the penalty shootout against New Zealand in the must-win encounter in Bhubaneswar on Sunday. Both the sides finished 3-3 after full time.
India were knocked out of the ongoing Hockey World Cup after the hosts endured a tough 4-5 defeat in the penalty shootout against New Zealand in the must-win crossover tie in Bhubaneswar on Sunday. After both teams finished 3-3 after full time with nothing to break the deadlock in shootouts, New Zealand held their nerves and outsmarted India in sudden death to bring an end to an instant classic and secure a place in the quarterfinal
Indian goalkeepers PR Sreejesh made three terrific saves but was replaced by and Krishan Pathak after he injured himself during the process. Pathak too made a couple of crucial saves but Shamsher failed to beat the New Zealand goalkeeper, which was his third attempt.
The match saw India dominate possession and circle penetration but the hosts endured quite a few nervy moments. The action started with both sides showing high intensity as New Zealand came very close to scoring in the opening quarter. However, a brilliant save by Sreejesh denied New Zealand an early lead as the first quarter finished goalless.
India put a much stronger show in the second quarter as Lalit Kumar Upadhyay scored the opener inside the first three minutes. India were then awarded a penalty corner with a little over six minutes to half-time. The setpiece saw hosts find the back of the net but the goal was disallowed following a referral by New Zealand.
India's dominance continued and shortly after they were awarded back-to-back penalty corners, which also saw the hosts double their lead after Abhishek scored on the rebound by the New Zealand goalkeeper.
However, with just one minute remaining in the quarter Lane brought some respite in the New Zealand camp as he scored their opening goal.
Varun Kumar then helped India restore their two-goal lead, converting a penalty corner. However, New Zealand once again bounced back in similar fashion as Kane Russell scored their second goal in the dying moments of the third quarter.
The final quarter saw New Zealand score the equaliser with Sean Findlay making an important deflection near the post following a penalty corner. New Zealand came close to taking a lead after Jarmanpreet's pass was deflected, which found a New Zealand player in an open position. However, his attempt was brilliantly saved by Pathak.
The shootout saw New Zealand in advantage after India missed their third and fourth shot. However, Sreejesh kept India in hunt as he made three saves in a row to push India on frontfoot, before getting replaced by Pathak.
Pathak too tried his best but it was the visitors, who eventually went to win the tie.