Johor Bahru: India on Thursday booked their berth in the final of the Sultan of Johar Cup hockey tournament with an impressive 3-1 victory over New Zealand here. The Indian junior men's team dominated proceedings from the outset with Mandeep Singh scoring in the 19th minute when his shot from the right beat goalkeeper Richard Joyce.
Playing their fourth round-robin league match at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium, Harjeet Singh increased the lead for India with his strike in the 27th minute while skipper Manpreet Singh made it 3-0 in the 34th minute.
In the second half, Benedict Van Woerkom scored a field goal in the 48th minute to reduce the margin, but that was the only time when the New Zealanders had their say.
India will now square off against hosts Malaysia in their last league match on Saturday. After four matches, India lead the points table with 10 points and remain the only undefeated team in the competition so far.
India had earlier stunned defending champions Australia 2-0 and formidable Germany 3-1 before settling for a goal-less draw against arch-rivals Pakistan in their previous matches.