India’s hopes of qualifying for the final of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament went up in smoke after they crashed to their third defeat in the event,losing 0-2 to defending champions New Zealand in their must-win penultimate round-robin match.
Five-time champions India needed a victory to stay in the competition,instead it was the Black Sticks who scored two second half goals to keep their flag flying in the tournament. New Zealand struck through Andy Hayward from their second penalty corner in the 40th minute before Cory Bennett took the match out of India’s reach,scoring the team’s second goal in the 55th minute.
Despite the 3-3 draw against Korea earlier in the day,six-time champions Australia are still atop the leaderboard with eight points from four games,followed by hosts Malaysia (7 points) and New Zealand (6),who has leapfrogged to the third spot by virtue of the win over India.
Korea have four points from as many games just ahead of India (3 points). Pakistan,who play Malaysia,are still in the fray but to remain in the hunt they will have to win their remaining two games of the tournament.