Hockey

Indian hockey teams clinch Tokyo 2020 Test Event double

India's men avenge group defeat to New Zealand as the women edge out Japan in finals at Oi Hockey Stadium

By Bhaktvatsal Sharma ·

It was double delight for India's hockey teams at the Tokyo 2020 Hockey Test Event on Wednesday.

The men scored four times in the second quarter as they defeated New Zealand 5-0 having been beaten by the Kiwis in the group stages.

Then the Indian eves edged out hosts Japan 2-1 at the Oi Hockey Stadium where they will hope to begin their Olympic Games campaign less than a year from now.

Outplaying their opponents

For the men, skipper Harmanpreet Singh opened the scoring on seven minutes from a penalty corner as India set out to avenge their 2-1 defeat to the Black Sticks in the group stages.

Shamsher Singh made it 2-0 as a result of another short corner in the 18th minute of the game.

Shamsher Singh makes it 2-0 to India in the Hockey Test Event final against New Zealand

Then goals from Nilakanta Sharma, Gursahibjit Singh and Mandeep Singh in the space of five minutes put the game beyond doubt.

The Kiwis failed to convert a penalty corner as Jarmanpreet Singh's defensive prowess kept the opposition at bay.

It finished 5-0 as the Indian men gave their fans at home a moment to cherish ahead of next year’s Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Unbeaten streak

The Indian women kept up their unbeaten record at the Hockey Test Event with a 2-1 victory over hosts Japan.

The eves, ranked 10 in the world, opened the scoring through Navjot Kaur in the 11th minute.

But the lead lasted a matter of seconds as Minami Shimizu moved through the Indian defence to level the scores.

The match was decided three minutes into the second half when India won a penalty corner.

Prolific drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur saw her shot saved but Lalremsiami pounced on the rebound to fire home and make it 2-1.

The last quarter was a nervous one for both teams as Japan tried to level and India fought to preserve their lead.

And the Indians heaved a collective sigh of relief after hearing the final whistle of a closely-contested match.

Savita Punia and the Indian defenders line up to face a penalty corner

Savita Punia rightfully earned credit for maintaining the scoreline, especially with a couple of fine saves from late penalty corners awarded to the hosts who had beaten India in the final of last year's Asian Games.