The Indian junior women’s hockey team on Saturday continued their fine form at the 3-Nations Tournament in Australia as they defeated New Zealand 4-1 in their third match of the competition.
India came from a goal down after Olivia Shannon (4′) gave New Zealand 1-0 lead. It was Sharmila Devi (12′, 43′), Beauty Dungdung (27′) and Lalrindiki (48′) who scored the goals for India.
In a shaky start to the match, India conceded a Penalty Corner in the 4th minute, and New Zealand converted it through Shannon for an early lead. India tried to fightback inside the first quarter, and were successful in finding the equalizer when Sharmila finished off a crisp team-move to make it 1-1 in the 12th minute.
Both teams had several chances in the second quarter as well, but neither could convert until India finally managed to convert their Penalty Corner in the 27th minute. It was India’s forward Dungdung who produced a sublime finish to give her team a much-deserved lead.
New Zealand did have a Penalty Corner at the stroke of the half-time break, but India’s Bichu Devi Kharibam made a decent save to ensure India retained their 2-1 lead.
The start of the third quarter was slightly slower for both the teams as they tried to implement different strategies.
Bichu was called into action again in the 40th minute, but she made a diving save to deny New Zealand. Three minutes later, it was India’s chance to break away on the counter which saw Sharmila score her second field goal to extend India’s lead to 3-1.
In the 48th minute, India won themselves yet another Penalty Corner, and the resulting execution saw young Forward Lalrindiki score past New Zealand’s goalie Kelly Carline to make it 4-1, and seal the deal. The Indian Junior Women’s Hockey team will play their fourth and final match of the 3-Nations Tournament on Sunday.