Indian-women Hockey: Indian women hold Australia

The Indian women’s hockey team came back double to hold World No. 2 Aus 2-2 in a round-robin league event of the Olympic test event here on Sun.

Gurjit Kaur (59th) and Vandana Katariya (36th) dropped out strikes by Grace Stewart (43rd) and Kaitlin Nobbs (14th) India had defeated host Japan 2-1 on Saturday.

World No. 10 India met Australia’s attacking hockey with its brand of attack. But in the 14th min, Australia was given a beautiful stroke, and Nobbs made no mistake.

Aus dominated the 2nd quarter completely, putting the Indian team under high stress through multiple charges and beautiful corners. But India’s support held firm and goalkeeper Savita got a couple of great saves.

The 3rd quarter again saw Australia control possession and create a pair of goal-scoring chances through little corners. However, Savita again dismissed the Australians.

India hit on the break as Vandana finished off an excellent move to level in the 36th min. But the point did not last long.

It was in the 43rd min that Aus found its 2nd goal through some excellent teamwork, which saw Stewart joining her name on the score-sheet.

It was a tough job after that for the Indians, refused space inside the marked circle. However, the Indians had to look for the equaliser.

women’s hockey With moves breaking down, and opportunities going loss, it looked like Australia would be onto the 2 –1 lead, but with just a couple of min remaining, India got a penalty corner.

And, prolific drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur walked up and beat a sweet strike into the back of the net to make India a well-deserved draw.

The Indian women will oppose China on Tuesday in their 3rd and last round-robin match.

Meanwhile, the Indian men spent an initial Lead to lose 2-1 to New Zealand.

Skipper Harmanpreet Singh saved a little corner to put India ahead in the second minute, but New Zealand hit back in the last quarter through Jacob Smith (47th) and Sam Lane (60th).

India will face Japan on Tuesday.

World No. 5 India’s aggressive approach had New Zealand under constant pressure, but the World No. 8 side defended well and denied India another goal before the break.

Harmanpreet, after his second-minute strike, had another chance in the 42nd minute, but New Zealand goalkeeper Richard Joyce pulled off a fine save. The last quarter of the match viewed New Zealand turn around and attack the counter.

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