The Indian women’s hockey team remained unbeaten in their South Africa Tour thus far as they registered a 2-2 draw against the hosts in their fourth match against them. This was India’s last match against the South African side before they take on world No 1 Netherlands on January 23.
It was Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke, playing her debut Tour for the senior side, who starred for the team scoring two crucial goals that helped them hold the home team to a draw.
South Africa made a strong start after a series of losses against India. The home team had lost 1-5, 0-7 and 0-4 to India in the previous three matches. Determined to end the matches against India on a good note, South Africa were first to make a breakthrough when they capitalised on an Indian infringement.
The penalty stroke awarded to them was utilised well with Quanita Bobbs beating young goalie Bichu Devi Kharibam to convert the goal in the 8th minute.
India were able to equalise only in the 29th minute when a good PC variation helped them score a goal. It was Phalke who did well to remain calm and pump the ball into the post.
South Africa managed to snatch the lead again when Tarryn Lombard struck a field goal in the 35th minute. The next few minutes remained tense with both teams playing on par with eachother.
Phalke finally brought some respite when she converted from a PC in the 51st minute. India did well to tighten their defence in the dying minutes of the match to ensure they walked away with a draw.
On 23rd January 2023, India will take on Netherlands at 1900hrs IST.