The India ‘A’ women’s hockey team came back from a goal down to beat France ‘A’ 3-2 in the second match of the series in Gorakhpur on Sunday.
In the first-ever international match played at the Veer Bahadur Singh Sports College ground in UP, Mariana Kujur (19th minute), Lalremsiami (30th) and Mumtaz Khan (34th) scored to eke out the win for the hosts after Mickaela Lahlah had given France ‘A’ lead in the 14th minute.
The visitors showed some resilience in the last quarter and found a second goal through Guusje Van Bolhuis (58th), but the home team held on to register the series-levelling win.
After the defeat in the first match, India ‘A’ team made a solid comeback to beat the visitors, but it was not the start that the hosts would have expected as the French team took the lead in the 14th minute through Lahlah, who finished off a brilliant team move to give her side the lead.
Constant pressure on the Indian defense towards the end of the first quarter resulted in the first goal but the Indians were quick to equalise in the second quarter as they utilised a penalty corner in the 19th minute through Kujur’s well-executed drag-flick.
Young striker Lalremsiami then registered her name on the score-sheet as she scored a field goal at the end of the second quarter to give her team the lead.
India’s continuous pressure on the French defense resulted in their third goal just four minutes into the third quarter.
Playing in her home state, it was Mumtaz, who produced a calm finish to extend India’s lead to 3-1.
Trailing by two goals, the visitors constantly tried to make inroads into the Indian striking circle, but could find only one goal late in the last quarter through Guusje Van Bolhuis, who scored off a penalty corner.
India ‘A’ will play their third match against France ‘A’ on Tuesday at the Padma Shri Mohammad Shahid Synthetic Hockey Stadium in Lucknow.