The Indian Junior Women’s Hockey Team started their Uniphar U23 5 Nations Tournament with a comprehensive 4-1 win over hosts Ireland on Sunday in Dublin, Ireland. Annu (12’), Deepika Soreng (25’), Monika Dipi Toppo (45’) and Beauty Dungdung (47’) netted one goal each for India while Mikayla Power (19’) netted the solitary goal for Ireland.

The match started with Ireland putting pressure on India and earned themselves a Penalty Corner in the fifth minute of the game. However, the Indian defence stood tall and denied the hosts from scoring. Three minutes later, the home side won back-to-back PCs, but India’s solid defence once again prevented them from breaking the deadlock.

India, on the other hand, cautiously, went on to take the lead in the 12th minute through Annu’s strike. In the 15th minute, they even earned their first PC of the match to double their lead, but missed out on converting it, thus ending the first quarter with a 1-0 lead.

Trailing by a goal, Ireland started the second quarter on the front foot and their efforts paid off as Mikayla Power scored the equaliser in the 19th minute. However, India restored their lead through Deepika Soreng as she notched up her first goal of the match in the 25th minute. After that, India did well to hold on to their lead as the second quarter came to an end.

A dominating start to the third quarter saw India creating various goalscoring opportunities. They won two back-to-back PCs in the 36th and 39th minutes, but missed out on converting their chances.

However, the visitors did not have to wait long for their third goal as Monika Dipi Toppo’s 45th minute strike made it 3-1 to at the third end of the third quarter

India started the fourth quarter with high energy, penetrating Ireland’s defensive line with ease through their aggressive play. India’s tactics worked well as Beauty went on to add a fourth goal to India’s tally in the 47th minute.

The Indian Junior Women’s Hockey Team will square off against Netherlands in their second match of the tournament on Monday, 20 June at 2030 IST.