The 2022-23 edition of the FIH Hockey Pro League season got off to a thundering start as hosts India beat New Zealand 4-3, courtesy of a brace from Mandeep Singh. After trailing 1-3, the Men in Blue came back from behind to win 4-3.
NZL pulled one back in the 23rd minute of the game via a penalty shootout after India started with a field goal from Mandeep Mor in the last minute of the first quarter.
The visitors continued their domination in the first half with their forwards putting some exciting skills on display and making successive circle penetrations. The Black Sticks made their presence count as they converted another two goals in the third quarter making the score 3-1. Skipper Harmanpreet Singh pulled one back for the hosts as India went into the last quarter with a goal behind.
It was then Mandeep Singh's day as he netted two goals in the fourth quarter to help India win the first match of the FIH Hockey Pro League season.
“The boys did an excellent job as we were playing after a long gap, but coming back from behind to win the match is always a great feeling. We made some mistakes, and we will work on those before our next match against Spain. Spain is a really good team and we would look to continue our winning performance in this FIH Hockey Pro League season”, shared Indian skipper Harmanpreet Singh post their win.
Black Sticks captain Nic Woods was heart-broken as he thought they outplayed India in most of the occasions but failed to control the match in the last quarter: “India is a really good team and we gave them a really good fight but I feel we couldn’t keep the ball possession. We have a tough game coming up against Spain tomorrow, and we will try to tick all the boxes that we missed today.”
New Zealand play Spain next in Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar, tomorrow at 07:00 PM IST.
The current FIH Hockey Pro League Standings are available here.
FIH Hockey Pro League – 28/10/2022
Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar (IND)
Result: India - New Zealand: 4-3
Player of the Match: Mandeep Singh (India)
Umpires: Ben Goentgen (Germany), Michiel Otten (Netherlands), Coen Van Bunge (Netherlands - video)
In territories where broadcast rights agreements are not in place, fans can watch live match action from the FIH Hockey Pro League via the Watch.Hockey app.