The Indian women’s hockey team put up a spirited showing in their fifth and final game of their tour defeating Australia A 2-1 in a closely-fought tie in Adelaide on Saturday. Navneet Kaur (10’) and Deep Grace Ekka (25’) scored the goals for India. Abigail Wilson (22’) scored the lone goal for Australia A.
Having won the previous encounter 3-2, Australia ‘A’ started with confidence, maintaining possession early on. Gurjit Kaur remained alert in the defence for India not allowing the opposition entry inside the circle. Earning three quick penalty corners, India put pressure on the Australia A defence and Navneet Kaur scored the first goal with a reverse hit to give India the lead.
The second quarter started with India continuing to build momentum from the backward line. But Australia A managed to get a shot on target from a quick counter-attack, only for captain Savita to make the save.
Australia A earned their first penalty corner of the night midway into the second quarter, and Abigail Wilson struck the back of nets with a dragflick to level the scoreline. But minutes later, Deep Grace Ekka put India back in the lead with a dragflick of her own on a penalty corner.
With Vandana Katariya building an attack from the left flank at the start of the second half, India earned another quick penalty corner. But this time, the Australia A defence managed to avert the danger. Controlling the midfield, Neha Goyal set up penetrating runs for Indian attackers as the Australia A defence felt the pressure. India managed to maintain their 2-1 lead as the third quarter came to a close.
Vandana continued to put pressure on Australia A at the start of the final quarter, with a dribbling run inside the circle. With time runing down, both the teams started showcasing urgency. India earned a late penalty corner to create another chance to increase their lead. But the Australian defence managed to save the set-piece to keep themselves in the contest. India kept possession in the final few minutes to prevent Australia from creating an attacking opportunity and won the match 2-1.