What's the Story?
The Indian Women's Hockey team defeated the Black Sticks Women 3-0 to finish their New Zealand Tour on a high.
Rani Rampal and co. had begun their campaign with a 4-0 win over New Zealand Development squad. Skipper Rani found the back of the net twice while Sharmila Devi and Namita Toppo scored a goal-a-piece in this match.
The New Zealand women's national field hockey then defeated Indian Women's Hockey team 2-1 in their second match of the tour. The hosts added to the misery by handing the Indians a 1-0 defeat in their third encounter of the tour.
However, the Indian eves recovered brilliantly from these two losses by registering a 1-0 win over Olympic champions Great Britain. Rani Rampal found the back of the net in the 47th minute and it proved to be the deciding goal in the match. However, the main Women's team of Great Britain is busy with the FIH Pro League 2020 so this triumph can be considered a good win but was not a groundbreaking one.
The heart of the matter
After a morale-boosting win against Great Britain, the Indian Women's Hockey team have now registered a thumping 3-0 win over the hosts New Zealand Women to end the tour on a big high.
Striker Navneet Kaur was the star player on the day as she scored a brace, finding the back of the net in the 45th and 58th minute.
The opening two-quarters of the exciting match were well-contested yet goalless. Nine minutes after Navneet scored the opening goal of the match, Sharmila's powerful shot past the Kiwi Goalkeeper in the 54th minute handed India a 2-0 lead and put the Indian eves in a commanding position.
Naveet's field goal just two minutes before the final hooter proved to be the final nail in the coffin and handed India a convincing 3-0 victory over New Zealand.
Commenting on the triumph, Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne said,
"I am happy we produced three goals against New Zealand in the last match. This tour gave us a good insight about where we need to improve and one of the things is to create faster play than we do now. Sometimes we tend to keep the ball too long on the stick and then we create pressure. We need to avoid that by passing faster."
The 45-year-old also said that the Indian team needs to improve on the defensive front and the players need to be 'calmer' and 'improve tackling.'
Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne will do a thorough analysis of the performances of each individual Indian Women's Hockey team player during the New Zealand Tour. This will help the Dutchman in shortlisting the team for Tokyo Olympics 2020.
Rampal and co. will be returning to India on February 7. After a short break, a four-week camp has been scheduled for them during which they can work on the insights gained from the New Zealand Tour.Published 05 Feb 2020, 16:01 IST