Defending champions New Zealand outclassed India 2-0 in a crucial Azlan Shah Cup hockey match at Ipoh, Malaysia on Thursday evening. Both goals came in the second half. Andy Hayward scored his third goal of the tournament in the 39th minute and Cory Bennett added the insurance in the 57th as the Black Sticks kept their hopes alive with six points from four games.
Australia currently lead the six-nation championship table with eight points from four games while hosts Malaysia are second (eight points but with an inferior goal difference). Saturday's Trans-Tasman clash between New Zealand and Australia will determine one of Sunday's finalists.
After Malaysia were held to a 2-2 draw by Pakistan in the last match on Thursday, three teams are in the running for the two final slots, Australia, Malaysia and New Zealand. Malaysia's last round-robin match against India will therefore be very crucial.