FIH Women's Hockey Pro League: India go down to China 1-2 in their tournament opener, to face the Netherlands next up

Vandana Katariya scored for India in their Women
Vandana Katariya scored for India in their Women's Hockey Pro League game against China

India slumped to a 1-2 defeat against China in their opening match of the 2023-24 FIH Women's Hockey Pro League in Bhubaneswar on Saturday, February 3.

The Indians who took the lead thanks to an opportunistic goal from Vandana Katariya in the first quarter were undone by the persistence of the Chinese while being unable to create enough goalscoring opportunities.

The hosts will take on a formidable Netherlands side in their second match of the India leg of the Women's Hockey Pro Leg on Sunday.

Dan Wen had a chance to take a crack at the Indian goal early in the opening quarter after Savita failed to clear one out of harm's way.

Vandana Katariya who was lurking unmarked near the goalmouth took a dive to latch on to the ball before deflecting it into the Chinese net in the 15th minute to help her side to a 1-0 lead.

Janneke Schopman's team had a chance to double the lead early in the second half but Neha Goya took a tumble while attempting to deflect one goalwards.

Dan Wen restored parity for the Chinese in the 40th minute of their Women's Hockey Pro League game against India with a splendid effort from open play.

Gurjit Kaur, who missed the Olympic Qualifiers, was on hand as the Indians earned their first penalty corner in the 44th minute. The drag-flick was, however, run down by the Chinese PC defence.

Five back-to-back PCs for the Chinese finally resulted in a second goal for Alysson Annan's team who have the legendary drag flicker Taeke Taekema in the coaching team.

Although the goal did not come off the drag flick itself, Gu Bingfeng managed to sneak one past Savita Punia in the 52nd minute following an array of passes in the circle.

The Asian Games champions were relentless at the death forcing a couple of short corners but failed to build on their one-goal lead.


Mighty Netherlands await India in second game of FIH Women's Hockey Pro League

Netherlands lead the points table at the Women's FIH Pro League
Netherlands lead the points table at the Women's FIH Pro League

The Indian women take on the Netherlands in their second match of the 2023-24 FIH Women's Pro League in Bhubaneswar on Sunday.

Paul van Ass, who coached the Indian men's hockey team for a brief period in 2015, is now in charge of the Dutch women who are currently on top of the points table in the 2023-34 Women's Hockey Pro League.

During the Argentine leg of the Pro League competition, the Netherlands swamped Great Britain by an imposing 8-0 margin before defeating Argentina 4-1.

Great Britain did better in their second-leg game against the Netherlands but still lost 1-5, while the Argentinians went down 1-7 to the top-ranked team in women's hockey.

The Savita Punia-led side did take on a young and vastly inexperienced Netherlands squad in the 2021-22 edition of the Women's Hockey Pro League winning the first leg game 2-1 before losing the shootout in the second match.

The Dutch side, which thrashed the USA 7-0 at the Kalinga Stadium on Saturday is, however, a formidable unit that looked menacing in attack.

Yibbi Jansen of the Netherlands who scored twice against the USA is the leading goalscorer in the current edition of the Women's Hockey Pro League with seven goals to her name, while the Dutch have scored 31 times in just 5 matches.

Quick Links

Edited by Ankush Das
App download animated image Get the free App now