Auckland, Oct 2: Akashdeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh and Nikkin Thimmiah scored a goal apiece as Indian men's hockey team started their tour of New Zealand with a convincing 3-1 victory, here today.
After the ever-consistent PR Sreejesh thwarted New Zealand A's back-to back penalty corners, India hit on counter in the third minute. Ramandeep dribbled past a couple of opposition players feeding Akashdeep, who coolly slotted it home to give his team 1-0 lead.
In the 20th minute (fifth minute of second quarter), it was Ramandeep's turn to put his name up in the scorers' list with a spectacular field goal as he left the host defence in complete tatters.
Within another six minutes, it was Nikkin did spadework past the 'Black Sticks' defenders after receiving a pass from Gurjinder Singh as he successfully struck to make it 3-0.
New Zealand did pull one back in the third quarter as they successfully converted a penalty corner in the 36th minute. The score at the end of the third quarter was 3-1.
In the fourth quarter, both the teams pushed themselves harder to score more goals with forwards Ramandeep, Akashdeep and Nikkin keeping the New Zealand defenders busy and played most of the game in opponent's half.
India will again play against New Zealand A tomorrow at the same venue. The first match against New Zealand senior team will be played at Nelson on October 6. The next three matches will be held on October 7, 9, 11 respectively. The last two matches will be held in Christchurch.