Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

New Zealand made a winning start to their FIH Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup 2023 campaign, as Sam Hiha's brace and another strike from Sam Lane helped them drub debutants Chile 3-1 in a Pool C match at the Birsa Munda International Hockey Stadium in Rourkela on Saturday.

The Kiwis managed to establish a stronghold over Chile right from the beginning. They exerted a lot of pressure on debutants. Chile also showed some resistance against the brutal attack by their opponents.

With ten minutes into the first quarter, Sam Lane swept the ball past goalkeeper Adrian Henriquez, invading the Chilean circle to establish an early lead.

Sam Hiha swung into action, firing the ball past the goalkeeper to double the lead just two minutes later.

Blair Tarrant from the Black Sticks got a green card, giving Chile a penalty corner and their first shot at the goal. However, Dom Dixon made the save to keep the goal chance at bay.

Hiha continued his rampaging run in the second quarter. He scored his second goal in the 19th minute and in the process the Kiwis increased their lead to 3-0.

Chile tried to make amends and in the process earned two penalty corners, but New Zealand’s defence was like a rock that could not be breached.

In the third quarter, Chile got another penalty corner, but the shot went too wide. Chile finally managed to pull one goal back in the 50th minute, during the final quarter. A backhand sweep by Contardo Ignacio did the magic for them only to reduce the margin.

Netherlands maul Malaysia

Formidable Netherlands made mincemeat of lacklustre Malaysia 4-0 in their opening encounter of the FIH Odisha Men's Hockey World Cup in the second match at Birsa Munda Ground in Rourkela on Saturday.

Van Dam Thijs (19th minute), Janssen Jip (23rd minute), Beins Teun (46th minute), Croon Jorrit (59th minute) scored a goal each for the winning side.

Malaysia tried their best, but failed to open their account.