Khelo India Women's Hockey League: Deepika, toast of Indian team again

Action during the Khelo India U-21 Hockey League on Thursday. (PC: SAI Media)
Action during the Khelo India U-21 Hockey League on Thursday. (PC: SAI Media)

Deepika scored a second hat-trick in as many days as the Indian women's junior team beat Raja Karan Hockey Academy 8-1 in the Khelo India Women's U-21 Hockey League in New Delhi on Thursday.

Deepika continued from where she left off on Wednesday with another sublime performance as the Indian juniors decimated their opponents.

Raja Karan Hockey Academy drew first blood in the second minute when Priya slotted home. But the Indian juniors hit back strongly.

Priyanka restored parity in the ninth minute, while Vaihsnavi Phalke doubled the lead early in the second quarter. Annu made it 3-1 in the 26th minute as the Indian team went into the half-time break with a lead.

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Rutuja Pisal made it 4-1 for the Indian team in the 35th minute, after which it was a Deepika show. The ace striker scored three goals in the space of four minutes (37', 38', 41'). Sangita Kumari scored the final goal in the 43rd minute.

In another match, Sports Authority of India B overcame a stiff challenge by HIM Hockey Academy to secure a 3-2 win.

Odisha Naval Tata Hockey High-Performance Centre (Bhubaneswar) outplayed Mumbai Schools Sports Association 11-0 to keep its slate clean.

All-round display by SAI B

Sports Authority of India B showed resilience after Wednesday’s 6-0 defeat by India juniors. They quickly found cohesion and rhythm despite being a squad that not only draws players from across the country, but also trained together for less than a week.

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Reema Baxla, a former India junior probable from Jharkhand, scored off a penalty corner to give SAI B the lead in the second minute. HIM Academy exerted pressure on the SAI B defense, but could not break through.

Against the run of play, Mary Lotla struck with a field goal ahead of half-time.

Taranpreet Kaur scored four minutes into the second half to raise visions of a keen battle, but Vinamrata Yadav, Uttar Pradesh junior captain in 2018, managed to loop a reverse hit from the top of the circle over the goalkeeper to put SAI B 3-1 ahead.

Taranpreet Kaur scored off a penalty corner early in the fourth quarter, but could not stop SAI B from earning full points.

Sadhna Sengar scored three times in Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy’s 8-0 victory over Jai Bharat Hockey Academy (Delhi) in a Group B match that showcased the Bhopal team’s superior fitness and staying power.

Also read: India vs Pakistan, Asian Champions Trophy: When and where to watch, preview, TV time, live streaming details

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Edited by Sanjay Rajan
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