Mumtaz Khan scored India’s solitary goal as the junior women’s hockey team went down 1-4 to the Belarus senior team on Wednesday. Despite the scoreline, India’s juniors held Belarus for large periods of the match, and tested their defence constantly. Belarus lead the series 2-1. Belarus’ team kicked off the proceedings at a very high pace and won their first PC of the game within minutes of the hooter. Ryta Batura converted the subsequent attempt to give Belarus the lead. India gained some possession and created some chances, but Belarus hit back at speed and Dziyana Khmylova’s goal extended their lead. The hosts went into the break leading by two goals.
India took the initiative in the second quarter and won a PC right at the start, dragging it wide. Over the course of the period, the teams traded PC attempts but neither could find the break through. Finally at the end of the quarter, Mumtaz converted a PC to draw India to within one goal. The teams went into halftime, India trailing 2-1. In a tightly contested third quarter, both sides were eager to not concede an inch. The period was dominated by a lot of exchanges in the midfield, and despite India attacking at regular intervals they didn’t create clear chances for conversion.
In a frenetic final quarter, the two teams exchanged PCs right at the start, with both failing to convert or trouble the scoreboard. Finally it was Krestsina Papkova’s PC conversion — who scored the third goal — that gave them breathing space. India had a few chances late in the game, but failed to convert them to reduce the deficit. In the last minute of play, Natalia Shitin scored a fourth to complete Belarus’ victory. The Indian junior team will play Belarus senior team on June 14.