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Punjab Gold Cup hockey: India beat New Zealand, to play Holland in final

February 07, 2009 21:33 IST

With the outcome of the previous match assuring India a place in the final, the relaxed hosts beat New Zealand [Images] 3-2 in the last league match of four-nation Punjab Gold Cup hockey tournament in Chandigarh on Saturday.

Earlier in the day, Holland thrashed Germany [Images] 7-1, which paved the pay for India to sneak into the final.

India, who finished at number two with 11 points from six matches, will now take on Holland in the final of the tournament on Monday.

India took the early lead when Rajpal Singh, who later adjudged Man-of-the-Match, pumped in the first goal in sixth minute.

Midfielder Prabodh Tirkey took a hit near the striking circle, which got deflected off Kiwi goalkeeper Kyle Pontifex before Rajpal Singh netted the ball.

The Black Sticks equalised the score in 40th minute as Nicholas Wilson sounded the board. But Rajpal struck his second goal in 55th minute to help India surge ahead again as he shook off the opponent custodian with a powerful hit after receiving a pass near the second post.

New Zealand again levelled the score in 62nd minute as Richard Petherick converted a penalty corner creditably.

Indians fired their third goal in 67th minute when Ignace Tirkey finished off a good attack from the left flank.

The Black Sticks who finished at the bottom of the points tally without winning a single match, launched some counter attacks, although without much success.

India had made a few changes in the squad as mid-fielder Vikram Pillai and goalkeeper Baljit Singh were replaced by Raghunath and Adrian D' Souza (goalkeeper). 

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