GLASGOW: India came from two goals down to edge out New Zealand 3-2 in the hockey semifinals of the 20th Commonwealth Games on Saturday and set up a repeat final of the 2010 edition with holders Australia. Trailing 0-2 in the 18th minute, India were revived by strikes from skipper Rupinder Singh Pal, Ramandeep Singh and Akashdeep Singh, who ensured at least a silver medal for the country.
The Kiwis drew first blood in the second minute with Simon Child taking a neat cross pass to put the ball screeching into the net. The Black Sticks continued with their fine show and three minutes later, Hugo Inglis fired at the net again but this time it was stopped by the Indian goalkeeper Sreejesh Ravindran. Indian midfielder Rupinder also came up a with a forceful hit at the Kiwi net but goalkeeper Hamish McGregor was alert to put the strike at bay.
The New Zealanders missed a penalty corner in the 10th minute but they did not repeat the mistake when they got the next opportunity, as hard-hitter Nick Haig scored on the rebound to double the lead in the 18th minute. Indians got their one and only penalty corner in the 27th minute and drag flicker V R Raghunath hit the chest of a Kiwi player on the net. The on-field referee gave India a penalty stroke as part of obstruction. Rupinder, who took the stroke, gave India their first goal in the 28th minute. Coming from the bench after a two-minute suspension post a green card, Child missed an open goal in the dying minutes of the first half as the score-line read 2-1 after 35 minutes.
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