India beat NZ 4-0 in 3rd hockey Test, complete series whitewash
Bengaluru: The Indian men's hockey team thrashed New Zealand 4-0 in the third and final Test to complete a series whitewash at the Sports Authority of India centre, here on Sunday.
Rupinder Pal Singh (8th minute), Surender Kumar (15th), Mandeep Singh (44th) and Akashdeep Singh (60th) scored the goals for India.
India took a 1-0 lead in the first quarter after Rupinder found the net with a low flick from the home team's second penalty corner, thus taking his personal goal count to four in the series.
Then Surender scored from a field effort after receiving a clever assist from Rupinder from the top of the striking circle.
Veteran Sardar Singh and Simranjeet Singh then combined on the left flank to set up Mandeep for India's third goal in the 44th minute past New Zealand goalkeeper George Enersen.
Striker Akashdeep added salt to New Zealand's injury by scoring India's fourth goal just at the stroke of the final hooter.
India's chief coach Harendra Singh expressed satisfaction with his team's performance in the series ahead of the 18th Asian Games to be held in Indonesian twin cities of Jakarta and Palembang from August 18 to September 2.
"Playing high intensity matches against one of the top 10 teams in the world ahead of a crucial event like the Asian Games is beneficial for us. During these three matches, we tried out different combinations and variations in penalty corners and we are now better prepared for the upcoming tournament," stated Harendra.
"We had specifically worked on different variations in goal scoring but I believe the team still has scope to improve. We missed quite a few easy chances today and we need to work on this ahead of the Asian Games," he added.