Johor Cup: India start title defence with win

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Johor Bahru (Malaysia): Defending champions India opened their campaign in the 4th Sultan of Johor Cup hockey tournament with a 2-1 win over New Zealand at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium here Sunday.

In a hard-fought match, India took an early lead through Parvinder Singh’s field goal just five minutes into the match. The Indian team made some good moves in their circle and showed a very safe and intense game play giving a tough competition to the opposition.

On the other hand, it became difficult for New Zealand to get out of their D and penetrate any goal against India in the first half. India led 1-0 at the halftime.

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India doubled their lead in the 43rd minute when Varun Kumar made no mistake in converting a penalty corner. New Zealand reduced the margin in the 53rd minute through a penalty corner converted by Nic Woods.

Just before the hooter, New Zealand earned another penalty corner but they failed to convert it. The match finished with a 2-1 on scorecard in favour of India.

“Most of the boys in our team represented the country for the first time in today’s match and I am happy with the performance of the team. We will keep on improving match by match as the tournament progresses,” said India coach Harendra Singh.

India will now take on Britain in their second match Monday.

PIC: Online Media Sources

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