Olympics hockey: India wins opening match 3-2 against New Zealand

India beat New Zealand 3-2 in a Pool A match of the men's hockey event at the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday. Harmanpreet Singh and Rupinderpal Singh scored three between them.

Dilpreet Singh #2 and Harmanpreet Singh #13 of Team India celebrate scoring during the Men's Pool A match against Team New Zealand on day one of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Oi Hockey Stadium.   -  Getty Images

India beat New Zealand (NZL) 3-2 in a Pool A men's hockey match at the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday. A brace from Harmanpreet Singh and crucial saves in the end from PR Sreejesh carried India into the next round. Rupinder Pal Singh also scored a penalty.

Tokyo Olympics, Hockey highlights: India beats New Zealand 3-2  

New Zealand had a chance to make it 3-3 in the dying seconds when Kane Russell hit a shot towards the top left corner of the post off a penalty corner. Indian goalie Sreejesh executed a full-stretch dive to his right to deny New Zealand the equaliser. Moments later, he pulled off another remarkable save in open play.

New Zealand won its first penalty corner in the 6th minute and Kane Russell converted it to make it 1-0. However, minutes later, India pulled one back when Rupinder Pal sent NZL keeper Leon Hayward the wrong way from close range.

At the half-hour mark, Harmanpreet found the back of the net to put India ahead. He then extended India's lead in the 33rd minute. Stephen Jenness kept NZL in the hunt with a goal towards the fag end of the third quarter.

Despite NZL's relentless attack in the last quarter, India clung on for a 3-2 win. The men's team will face world No.1 Australia at 3 PM IST on Sunday. The Indian women's hockey team will take on the Netherlands at 5:15 PM IST on Friday.

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