In the fast-paced first quarter, India had first chance to take lead but Mandeep Singh missed out and the team made it worse for itself by fluffing a penalty corner.
The Kiwis though did not miss their chance as forward Hugo Inglis sounded the board with a furious reverse hit. An inexplicable defence lapse allowed Stephen Jenness to double the New Zealand lead.
"The story of the tournament is that we have had enough penalty corners. We created enough chances but we didn't score off those. If you see today, we were in the circle of opponent for 32 times and they countered 14 times. They scored 3 but we only scored 2. The game is about scoring the goals and we don't do that enough," a disappointed coach Sjoerd Marijne said after the match.
The Indian team struggled to penetrate the New Zealand defence. New Zealand earned their first penalty corner in the second quarter but PR Sreejesh thwarted the attempt, saving the team from conceding a 0-3 lead.
Another penalty corner was awarded to New Zealand when the umpire ruled that Jenness was fouled inside the striking circle. However the Indians got the decision overturned by taking a video referral.
SV Sunil attempted an ambitious strike from the near post but his shot hit the vertical.
Late in the second quarter, Sumit, charging from the right flank, was felled by a Kiwi defender and Indian team were awarded a penalty corner. Kiwi custodian stopped the first shot but on rebound, Akashdeep's shot hit the shoulder of a Kiwi defender, resulting in India getting a penalty stroke.
Harmanpreet converted the penalty stroke reduce the lead at the half-time.
Sunil earned a penalty corner for his side early in the third quarter but India squandered the chance to get an equaliser.
A defensive lapse on penalty corner cost India dear as Varun Kumar failed to clear ball after a couple of rebounds and Marcus Child put New Zealand ahead 3-1.
A fifth penalty corner also went abegging, leaving India with an arduous task of erasing the two-goal deficit in the final quarter. Conversion remained an issue with the Indians as Dilpreet Singh's shot hit the far post.
Five minutes from the final hooter, India got back-to-back penalty corners but converted none. While Harmanpreet finally converted a penalty corner it was too late in the day.
Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.
As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.
Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.