The Indian men's hockey team made a winning start to their 2020 Tokyo Olympics campaign with a 3-2 victory over New Zealand in their Group A game. Rupinder Pal Singh converted a penalty stroke while Harmanpreet Singh scored twice through penalty corners to give India the win.
New Zealand led early in the first quarter of the game through Kane Russell in the 6th minute, but Rupinder equalised for India four minutes later.
The Indian team did look a little rusty in the opening quarter of the game, with New Zealand making significant penetrations into the D. India took the lead for the first time in the game through Harmanpreet Singh in the second quarter, and extended the lead to two goals in the third.
The Kiwis also pulling one back courtesy the first open-play goal of the game from Stephen Jenness, building up for a tense final quarter of the game.
A series of video referrals extended the play in the fourth quarter of the game with India losing a penalty corner appeal, and then conceding three PCs within the final three minutes of the game.
However, Indian goalkeeper Sreejesh made heroic saves to deny New Zealand twice. India conceded another penalty corner with only 24 seconds remaining on the clock, but the danger was successfully averted.
The Indian team will now face Australia on July 25, who defeated hosts Japan 5-3 in another dramatic game.