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Hockey: New Zealand thrash India 8-2 in second match

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Pukekohe (New Zealand), May 16:  New Zealand showed class as they thrashed India eves 8-2 in the second match of the five-match series here on Tuesday.

For New Zealand, Samantha Harrison (third minute), Stacey Michelsen (21st, 30th minute), Kirsten Pearce (52), Madison Doar (56), Samantha Harrison (56) and Stephanie Dickins (60) scored the goals while for India, Lilima Minz (40th) and Anupa Barla (49th) found the back of the net.

Though India began with positive intent, hosts New Zealand put India on the backfoot with an early 1-0 lead when Samantha Harrison scored a 3rd minute field goal.

India couldn’t clear the ball through the right wing and Samantha Harrison beautifully converted the pass into a goal from close range.

A chance to equalise went begging in the sixth minute when striker Rani could not get a touch on the ball to deflect it into the post from a long-range assist.

In-form keeper Savita made a couple of saves to deny New Zealand from increasing the lead while Anupa Barla’s shot was also saved by the Kiwi keeper Grace O’Hanlon in the 12th minute.

The Black Sticks women dominated, holding their structure and looked like scoring more while keeping the Indians at bay. Though India played with high intensity, it was not enough to match New Zealand’s accuracy.

After entering the second quarter with a 1-0 lead, the hosts held most of the possession and ended up scoring a brilliant field goal in the 21st minute on the counter through Stacey Michelsen.

India earned a penalty corner in the 24th minute but it was promptly denied by keeper Sally Rutherford.

New Zealand kept up the pressure on India and created more chances but Savita made several saves to keep India in the game.

However, good pressing from hosts along with their ability to be patient and move the ball to drag the defenders out meant that New Zealand scored their third goal through Stacey in the 30th minute and take a comfortable 3-0 lead.

India made amends in the third quarter when they earned two penalty corners. Though the first went amiss, Lilima Minz managed to get a deflection to finally win India a goal in the 40th minute.

Though Stacey scored her third goal of the match in the 42nd minute, India showed grit to score their second goal in the 49th minute through Anupa Barla. This helped India narrow the gap to 4-2.

But just when India looked like they could come back into the game, their defence collapsed in the final quarter with New Zealand taking complete advantage by scoring as many as four goals in the last eight minutes of the match.

New Zealand increased their pace and attack to converted goals through Kirsten Pearce, Madison Doar, Samantha Harrison, and Stephanie Dickins to end the match on a high note.

The two teams will now play the third match on May 17.

(IANS)

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