Harmanpreet’s Brace Helps India Thrash NZ in Sultan Azlan Shah Cup

  • India beat New Zealand 3-0 in the 26th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup on Sunday.
  • Mandeep Singh scored a goal and Harmanpreet Singh converted two penalty corners.

  • India next take on Australia on 2 May at 1:30 pm.

Defender Harmanpreet Singh converted two penalty corners as India thrashed New Zealand 3-0 in the 26th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament in Malaysia on Sunday.

Following a 2-2 draw against Great Britain in the opening game on Saturday, India now have four points from two outings.

Mandeep Singh opened the Indian account with a fine deflection in the 23rd minute before Harmanpreet produced two fine drag-flicks to penetrate the Black Sticks defence.

Indian hocket team celebrate after Harmanpreet Singh scored. (Photo: Hockey India)

Also Read: India Draw 2-2 With Great Britain in Sultan Azlan Shah Cup Opener

It was New Zealand, who earned the first penalty corner in the sixth minute, but it could not pose any danger as the low shot went straight to goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, who kicked it out of the circle.

After a goalless first quarter, India broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute when Chinglensana Singh sent a reverse shot from top of the box into the goalmouth, where Mandeep did exceptionally well to deflect the shoulder high ball past the goalkeeper.

Harmanpreet then came into the picture with a drag-flick off the first penalty corner. The stinging shot went into the left corner of the board to make it 2-0 in the 27th minute.

Harmanpreet Singh celebrates after scoring. (Photo: Hockey India)

Playing in his 200th international on Sunday, Sunil had a chance to make an entry on the scoresheet five minutes after half-time when he was again in a one-on-one position with the goalkeeper, but ended up flicking wide of the mark.

Harmanpreet came back to round off the Indian scoring with another penalty corner conversion, this time sending a soaring drag-flick into the top corner of the net in the 47th minute.

With Harmanpreet in fine nick, he was allowed to take the shot on six of India's seven penalty corners, although the push could not be stopped on two occasions.

Rupinder Pal Singh only took the last of India's penalty corners and his shot was blocked by the black sticks’ goalkeeper.