The Indian women’s hockey team lost 1-3 to Ladies Den Bosch team in their third match of the Europe Tour here on Thursday. Goals from Ireen van den Assem and Imke Hoek were enough for the hosts to register the win against the visitors as Indian defender Navdeep Kaur was the lone player on target for her team.
The match saw both the teams locking horns mostly in the midfield as the focus was on defence. In the first quarter, India started strongly as they retained possession for the first ten minutes but a counter attack from Ladies Den Bosch saw them earn a penalty stroke in the 12th minute which was well converted by Ireen van den Assem to give the hosts a 1-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter saw some more action as both sides created opportunities inside the opposition’s half. Indian forward Lalremsiami came close to scoring in the 22nd minute, only to be denied by Den Bosch’s goalkeeper. In the same minute, Indian goalkeeper Savita Punia made a terrific save to keep the score down to 0-1. However, Ladies Den Bosch showed why nine players from their team play for the national team as they added to their goal tally when Ireen van den Assem beat Savita again in the 45th minute to take a 2-0 lead at the end of second quarter.
India brought on goalkeeper Rajani Etimarpu in the third quarter to replace Savita and the former was forced into action straight away as she made a diving save in the 33rd minute. The visitors stepped up their efforts to make a comeback into the match as captain Rani Rampal’s shot was saved by the Dutch goalkeeper in the 36th minute while another good team effort went wide of the goal two minutes later.
India started the fourth quarter swiftly as a brilliant team move saw defender Navdeep Kaur score in the 47th minute to make it 2-1. The visitors earned a penalty corner in the 50th minute but it was met with a diving save from the Den Bosch custodian. India continued to put more pressure on the home side in the fourth quarter as chances went wide. In the 57th minute, the Dutch side pounced on the opportunity to score as they converted a penalty corner through Imke Hoek to make it 3-1 and secure the victory.
India will play the Belgium Junior Men’s team in their fourth and final match of the Europe tour on September 18.