Three goals in the final quarter earned Gold Coast 2018 silver medallists New Zealand a 5-5 draw with Scotland in their opening Pool A match  ©Getty Images

Three goals in the final 15-minute quarter earned New Zealand’s men, silver medallists in the men’s hockey tournament at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, an extraordinary 5-5 draw with Scotland in the sides’ opening Pool A match here at Birmingham 2022.

Scotland had taken a 3-0 lead in the second quarter after the Kiwis had had to play with 10 men because of a green card.

By half-time the Scots were 5-1 up, and although New Zealand pulled a goal back in the third quarter the odds against them getting anything from the concluding match of the day were long.

But then quick-fire penalty corner goals from Jake Smith and Hugo Inglis had them back in contention, before Sam Hina levelled the scores at 5-5.

And New Zealand had chances to win the game at the end but failed to capitalise on three penalty corners.

It was an extraordinary finale to an opening day of competition which saw India women’s hockey team, disappointed not to reach the World Cup quarter-finals in Terrassa earlier this month, lay down an important marker in their earlier opening Pool A match as they beat a Ghana team making its Commonwealth Games debut 5-0.

The scoreline would have been even greater had Bridget Azumah not excelled in goal for the African team.

Reflecting on the match at the University of Birmingham, India’s captain and goalkeeper Savita told insidethegames: "It was very important for us to make a good start here.

"Of course we didn’t reach where we wanted to go in the World Cup, but still we played good. And we will try our best to make sure that what we missed in the World Cup we will do here."

Having finished fourth at Gold Coast 2018 - a position shared by India’s men - the idea of a medal is clearly something that is of principle concern.

Savita, captain of the India women's hockey team, said today's 5-0 win over Ghana on the opening day of competition was
Savita, captain of the India women's hockey team, said today's 5-0 win over Ghana on the opening day of competition was "very important" after the failure to reach the FIH Women's World Cup quarter-finals ©ITG

"We will try our best to get a medal here - we want a gold medal," Savita added.

"We will try our best but we will go match by match, so now we are concentrating on tomorrow’s match against Wales."

Defending women's hockey champions New Zealand have only four members of their Gold Coast 2018 team at these Games but they maintained their momentum today with a 16-0 win over Kenya in their opening Pool B match.

"We're not taking any games lightly," the Black Sticks co-captain Olivia Merry said on the eve of the match.

"Every game is important, so we will be going out there full force in every game."

Scotland won the second Pool B match, earning a 4-2 win against South Africa.

The second session of the day ended with a 4-0 win for Canada over Wales, who had a penalty stroke saved before any of the goals went in.

Brienne Stairs scored two opportunist goals for Canada, who are world-ranked nine.

 In the third and final session of the day, England’s men - who won bronze four years ago on the Gold Coast with a 2-1 win over India - opened their campaign with a 6-0 win over Ghana, making their Games debut as were their female team-mates, in Pool B.

University of Birmingham alumnus Nick Bandurak scored a hat-trick for the host nation.