|August 1st, 2012|
|9||Pool B||1:45pm||NZL - IND||3 - 1 (3 - 1)||Final||x 3|
New Zealand vs. India 3-1 (half-time: 3-1)
India and New Zealand were both looking for their first points of this Olympic tournament and hoping to keep their semi-final hopes strong in today’s B pool game. New Zealand came out on top of the fast-paced, offensive game with a 3-1 win. New Zealand is now back in the hunt for a semi-final berth sitting on three points, while India must turn things around quickly with two losses in two games.
The teams didn’t waste any time getting down to business with an amazing sequence of action in the first 15 minutes. India struck hard and fast, earning a penalty corner on their first trip down the field. Specialist Sandeep Singh easily converted the chance for the 1-0 lead less than two minutes into play.
New Zealand was awarded a penalty corner on the ensuing play, but it dinged off the post. That misfire was atoned for 10 minutes later when Andrew Hayward looked like a short corner pro himself, easily sinking the 1-1 marker just 12 minutes into action.
The back-and-forth continued in the fast-paced game and it was clear that it was a wide-open affair. Phillip Burrows and Shea McAleese provided some thrifty give-and-go action with Nicholas Wilson eventually finishing the play after a diving pass from McAleese to open up a 3-1 lead late in the first half.
The second half was still speedy, but the goals came to a grounding halt. Despite being whistled for two yellow cards, India still put steady pressure on the New Zealand net, but could not finish their chances as New Zealand hung on for the 3-1 win.
Umpire Ged Curran was presented with the Golden Whistle before the match to recognize his 100th international match.
On the win against India:
"It was good. We didn't start well in the first 30 seconds. We were really disappointed from the other day (losing 2-0 to Korea) but we did some good things today."
On whether they executed their strategy:
"I think the message was to have a good time out there, play the hockey we know can play, throw the ball around and work really hard for each other. We did that today and if you work hard you get the results."
On playing Netherlands next:
"They are always a tough side to play, one of the powerhouses of hockey. I think we can beat them, I think our pool is really wide open, everyone can beat everyone. We just have to play our game and see who wins on the day."
Ignace TIRKEY (IND)
On the game:
"We are mad, we did not start well. In fact, we started poorly. We should have played more attacking and should have tried harder to score."