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Black Sticks beat India to reach final

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 26/11/2016

New Zealand have poured in three goals in the final quarter to beat India 3-2 and qualify for the final of a four nations tournament in Melbourne.

The Black Sticks will face Australia in Sunday's International Festival of Hockey decider following a late surge.

Goals to Nick Ross, Jacob Smith and Hugo Inglis snatched the result off India, who led 1-0 at halftime.

New Zealand needed to win to advance to the final after opening with a 1-1 draw against Malaysia and going down 3-1 to the Kookaburras.

Coach Colin Batch was delighted with his team's determination and maturity.

"We lifted for the last quarter and it was a great effort from the guys, we put India under pressure, they made mistakes and we were good enough to finish," he said.

"It's great we're playing in a final and going up against Australia at home will be a great challenge but we are certainly up for it."

India's Rupinder Pal Singh opened the scoring from a penalty stroke after a clear shot at goal had hit Kane Russell's foot.

Ross deflected an Inglis cross to draw New Zealand level before they hit the front when Smith finished off good work from Stephen Jenness.

Inglis gave the Black Sticks a two-goal buffer three minutes from fulltime when diving to score a deflection from a penalty corner.

Rupinder bagged his second from a penalty corner soon after the restart.

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