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CWG SF: India has an edge over NZ (4/13/2018)
--s2h team
India has an edge over New Zealand as it takes on them today in the Gold Coast semifinal.

Both historical and recent history prove Indian edge over the Oceania team. India recently visited New Zealand and engaged in two separate 4-Nation competitions. Though the main rival there was Belgium, the hosts and the Indian team met twice once in Tauranga and again in Hamilton. India emerged clear winners on both occasion.

At Tauranga on 20th Jaunuary, India took good 2-0 half time lead with goals coming from reliable Harmanpreet Singh and greenhorn Dilpreet Singh. The Kiwis struck through a penalty corner in the 42nd minute to reduce the margin, but Mandeep Singh struck five minutes later to take home the match (3-1). A week later, the result did not change between India and the host, though the difference narrowed down.

Lalit Upadhyaya gave India first of the three goals India would later strike, only to see Daniel Harris cancel out before the half time. On resumption, midfielder Harjeet Singh and defender Rupinder Pal Singh scored before Kane Russel, who is NZ's PC expert, asserted once. India could thus defeat New Zealand twice on their home.

By and large, India-New Zealand contests went in favour the former. However, it should be conceded that the Kiwis has capabilities to surprise any rival on their given date.

The gap between the two semifinals of today are narrowest. For instant, India got 29 penalty corners and converted just 8. The Kiwis have slightly better record: 10 out of 27. Similarly, the Kiwis have conceded 17 penalty corners in the past four matches and took four goals in. India on the other hand conceded six goals out of 20 it conceded.

Indian fans who expect easy outing today at Gold Coast therefore may be in shock if India did not pull up its socks in time.

India did everything to get away from the perennial tormentors Australia with a stunning show against England. However, unless carefully treated and chances availed it may prove to be counter-productive today.

India need to marshal all its arsenal and play impeccable game to ward off today's semifinal challenge. History cannot give victory, but the form on given day.

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