Hockey: India men, women win Olympic Test event

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The Indian men's hockey team defeated New Zealand 5-0 to win the Olympic Test Event in Tokyo on Wednesday. Later, the Indian women's team defeated Japan 2-1 to win the same event.

Navjot's 11th-minute opener for India was cancelled out by Shimizu Minami in the next minute. Lalremsiami then converted a penalty corner to put India ahead early in the third quarter. Although India couldn't convert another penalty corner to double their lead, they held on for the win.

In the men's game, captain Harmanpreet Singh (7th minute) scored the opening goal before Shamsher Singh (18th minute), Nilakanta Sharma (22nd minute), Gursahibjit Singh (26th minute) and Mandeep Singh (27th minute) also scored for India at the Oi Hockey Stadium.

"We played very well. We managed to score our opportunities at the start of the game," Harmanpreet told PTI after the triumph, which comes after India lost 2-1 to New Zealand in the round-robin stage.

"I think the final was always going to be tough, we lost to New Zealand earlier. But we had been having practice sessions after that and worked on our mistakes to win today," he added.

Both teams began the match on a cautious note by turning over the ball in the mid-field. India won a penalty corner in the seventh minute, but couldn't capitalise on the opportunity. However, Harmanpreet didn't miss out on a re-awarded penalty corner. He executed a perfect dragflick to put India ahead.

The Indian team continued to hold possession and apply tremendous pressure on the New Zealand defense as they ended the first quarter leading 1-0. Shamsher then scored India's second goal through a penalty corner in the 18th minute.

New Zealand managed to make only two circle entries in the second quarter as the Indian team scored three more goals. Nilakanta found the back of the net in the 22nd minute before Gursahibjit and Mandeep scored in quick succession. Vivek Prasad intercepted the ball brilliantly to assist Gursahibjit and Mandeep converted a penalty corner just before the half-time whistle.

After an action-packed first half, the intensity dropped from both sides. New Zealand tried to make a few inroads in the third quarter as they took a shot in the 37th minute which went wide of the post. Jarmanpreet Singh then saved a penalty corner in the next minute as India and New Zealand played out a goalless quarter with India leading 5-0. India ensured they stayed in the lead and didn't allow New Zealand to break through their defense in the last quarter to notch a comfortable win.