The Indian women’s hockey team lost 2-3 to China in a closely-fought match in Limburg, Germany on Sunday. For India, Navneet Kaur (24’, 45’) scored a brace while Chen Jiali (9’), Zhong Jiaqi (45’) and Xu Yanan (51’) scored in China’s win.

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Both teams got off the blocks swiftly in the first quarter. It was India who attacked aggressively and earned a penalty corner in the third minute but was saved by strong Chinese defence. Only a few minutes later, an infringement while defending saw India concede a penalty stroke. China capitalised on the chance and scored their first goal in the ninth minute. The next few minutes saw both the teams trade PCs but neither could convert from the chances.

India began the second quarter on a positive note. A well-executed attack saw them win back-to-back PCs. Though the team could not convert from these chances, a fierce attack in the 24th minute saw Kaur score a fine field goal.

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India’s next big opportunity came in the 45th minute when an in-form Kaur scored her second goal to fetch India a 2-1 lead. However, it was short-lived as China were quick to equalise with a PC through Zhong Jiaqi.

They further grabbed a 3-2 lead when Xu Yanan scored in the 51st minute. Though India found a few chances in the dying minutes of the game, they were unable to beat Chinese defence.

India will next take on Germany in back-to-back matches on 18th and 19th July at 21:00hrs IST.

Indian women’s squad for Germany tour and Four-Nations tournament in Spain

Goalkeepers: Savita (C), Bichu Devi Kharibam

Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka (VC), Nikki Pradhan, Ishika Chaudhary, Udita, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam

Midfielders: Nisha, Monika, Salima Tete, Neha, Navneet Kaur, Sonika, Baljeet Kaur, Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke, Jyoti Chhatri

Forwards: Lalremsiami, Vandana Katariya, Sangita Kumari, Deepika