Santiago (Chile): A resilient performance from the Indian junior women’s hockey team against the Chile senior team saw the two sides play out a well fought 2-2 draw in their recent encounter.
India’s two goalscorers on Thursday evening were Deepika (40′) and Gagandeep Kaur (55′) who led the team’s fightback after Chile had twice taken the lead through goals from Mariana del Jesus Lagos (21′) and Fernanda Villagran (51′).
With three wins from three matches in their ongoing tour, the Indian team started the match brightly, as they tried to penetrate Chile’s defence, but could not find a clear opportunity inside the first 15 minutes. On the other hand, Chile tried to push the young India team on the counter attacks, with their tactic paying off in the second quarter.
It was in the 21st minute that Chile’s Lagos found herself with enough time and space in front of goal to get her shot away and give her side an important lead in the match. India were quick to fight back and tried to take control of proceedings to find the equalising goal before the half-time break, but came up against some resolute defending from the hosts as Chile maintained their one goal advantage.
A charged up Indian team took to the field in the third quarter and were able to create a lot more going forward. After having been denied from multiple penalty corners, the Indian team finally found the equaliser in the 40th minute through Deepika, who finished off a beautiful team goal to make it 1-1.
However, Chile did not get bogged down after conceding and tried to look for an opportunity again in the match to take the lead. It was in the 51st minute that their efforts were rewarded as the umpire awarded them a penalty stroke for an infringement by India inside the striking circle. It was Chile’s Villagran who converted from the spot to restore the hosts’ one-goal advantage.
A late fightback from India resulted in another equaliser being scored, with Chile conceding a penalty stroke this time after their player was found to be infringing the rules inside the striking circle. Gagandeep stepped up to take the resulting stroke, and slotted it past Chile’s goalkeeper to make it 2-2 in the 55th minute.
Both teams tried to look for an opening in the last five minutes, but the goal never came for either, and the two teams finished level at 2-2.