What's the story?
The Indian Women's Hockey team suffered a 1-2 defeat to 6th ranked New Zealand in their second match of the ongoing tour in Auckland.
Earlier, in their opening match of the tour, the Nabhvarna had decimated the New Zealand Development squad 4-0. Skipper Rani Rampal had scored two goals with Sharmila Devi and Namita Toppo finding the back of the net once each.
It was a confident beginning for the Indian Women's Hockey team.
The ongoing NZ tour will help Head Coach Sjoerd Marijne decide on the squad for the coveted 2020 Olympic Games. The Dutchman will see how each of the players is coping with the pressure, analyze their performances, and also try multiple playing combinations during the tour.
The heart of the matter
The Black Sticks Women started the match aggressively and it helped them win a penalty corner in the 3rd minute of the first quarter. New Zealand's Megan Hull converted it brilliantly to hand the hosts a 1-0 lead.
Current World Number 9 India had a chance to restore the lead as they won a penalty corner late in the first quarter. Salima Tete made no mistake and kept her cool to convert the PC and bring India back in the match.
There were no goals in the second and third quarters with both the teams playing to their full capacity and ensuring there are no unforced errors.
However, India conceded a penalty stroke in the final quarter. 23-year-old Megan Hull rose to the occasion and stepped up to take the penalty. Yet again, the defender made no mistake and scored the goal, which helped Black Sticks Women to a 2-1 win eventually.
A disappointed Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne expressed his views to PTI after the defeat:
"We created enough scoring opportunities but we were not productive enough. New Zealand were very successful in the little chances they got. They executed them well. New Zealand were stronger today and in the beginning, we were struggling with that. But after the first quarter, we played much better. We created eight shots on goal and four penalty corners. We are definitely working on being more effective in the coming matches."
The Rani Rampal-led unit will take on the hosts again on 29th January in what will be their third encounter of the tour. They will be looking to rectify the errors and capitalize on most of their chances in Wednesday's match.Published 27 Jan 2020, 13:23 IST