Indian hockey

CWG 2018, Hockey: Wasteful India punished by clinical New Zealand in semis, in contention for bronze

Manpreet Singh’s side conceded twice in the first half before making a spirited comeback in the second.

Indian men’s team’s quest for a gold in the Commonwealth Games came to an end on Friday against New Zealand, where they defeated 2-3 in the semi-finals.

India’s lackadaisical defence was ruthlessly cut open by their opponents in the first quarter, where they conceded two goals. A bruised Indian side made a stirring comeback in the second half with Harmanpreet Singh once again showing his drag-flick prowess. Ultimately, it was India’s wastefulness that was their downfall: only two of their 18 shots were on target.

In reply, New Zealand took seven shots and converted three of them. India will fight it out against either Australia or England for a bronze medal.

A clinical New Zealand tore into a meek Indian defence. Hugo Inglis on the left flank almost had a free run before unleashing a lethal shot from a close angle in only the sixth minute. A goalkeeper of PR Sreejesh’s pedigree and class should have been quicker in closing the shot down.

India went 0-2 down as the clock ticked towards the close of the first quarter. Minutes later, space once again opened up far too easily for the Black Sticks and they were ruthless in front of goal. Stephen Jenness easily got the better of Sreejesh and New Zealand were flying. India had failed to cash in on their sole opportunity – a penalty stroke – from Harmanpreet Singh as early as the third minute.

But Manpreet Singh and Co put in an improved display in the second quarter. The midfielders were pressing more aggressively to win the ball back and Akashdeep Singh, Mandeep Singh, and Dilpreet Singh were increasingly making a nuisance of themselves in the New Zealand circle.

There was salvation for India with barely a minute left till the end of the first half as skipper Arun Panchia committed a careless foul. India were initially awarded a penalty corner, which in turn became a penalty stroke: Harmanpreet Singh made no mistake from the spot seconds before the buzzer went off.

At half-time. Screenshot.
At half-time. Screenshot.

The second-half saw the Indians throw flood the circle with great gusto. The forward trio of Akashdeep, Dilpreet and Mandeep created a host of opportunities. On the attack, Kiwis created half-chances of their own. Luck deserted India as Kane Russell and Varun Kumar came together just inside the Indian circle. After much deliberation during the referral, New Zealand were awarded a corner. Russell, whose game nearly ended early in the third quarter after a clash of legs with Manpreet, turned architect for his side’s third goal.

With a smart dive, Sreejesh kept out the penalty corner, but from a congested area, Russell managed to scoop the ball towards Marcus Child who dabbed the ball home to give his side a two-goal cushion.

The final quarter saw slapdash hockey from both teams. India were culpable of not creating opportunities from promising situations yet again. Sreejesh gave his team a chance with a point-blank save. With three minutes left, Harmanpreet scored his second but there was no late drama this time. New Zealand’s defence were simply too robust to collapse. The Kiwis chase their first Commonwealth gold.

At full-time. Screenshot.
At full-time. Screenshot.
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Following a mountaineer as he reaches the summit of Mount Everest

Accounts from Vikas Dimri’s second attempt reveal the immense fortitude and strength needed to summit the Everest.

Vikas Dimri made a huge attempt last year to climb the Mount Everest. Fate had other plans. Thwarted by unfavourable weather at the last minute, he came so close and yet not close enough to say he was at the top. But that did not deter him. Vikas is back on the Everest trail now, and this time he’s sharing his experiences at every leg of the journey.

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Back in the Himalayas, after a string of sleepless nights, Vikas and his team ascended to Camp 2 (6,500m) as planned, and then descended to Base Camp for the basic luxuries - hot shower, hot lunch and essential supplements. Back up at Camp 2, the weather played spoiler again as a jet stream - a fast-flowing, narrow air current - moved right over the mountain. Wisdom from the mountains helped Vikas maintain perspective as they were required to descend 15km to Pheriche Valley. He accepted that “strength lies not merely in chasing the big dream, but also in...accepting that things could go wrong.”

At Camp 4 (8,000m), famously known as the death zone, Vikas caught a clear glimpse of the summit – his dream standing rather tall in front of him.

It was the 18th of May 2018 and Vikas finally reached the top. The top of his Everest…the top of Mount Everest!

Watch the video below to see actual moments from Vikas’ climb.


Vikas credits his strength to dedication, exercise and a healthy diet. He credits dietary supplements for helping him sustain himself in the inhuman conditions on Mount Everest. On heights like these where the oxygen supply drops to 1/3rd the levels on the ground, the body requires 3 times the regular blood volume to pump the requisite amount of oxygen. He, thus, doesn’t embark on an expedition without double checking his supplements and uses Livogen as an aid to maintain adequate amounts of iron in his blood.

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This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Livogen and not by the Scroll editorial team.