Adelaide: The Indian women’s hockey team put up a second-half fight but went down to Australia ‘A’ 3-2 in the closely-fought encounter in the fourth game of their current tour, here on Thursday.
Salima Tete (40′) and Sangita Kumari (54′) netted a goal each for India after Alice Arnott (18′) and Ruby Harris (20′, 35′) had put the second-string Australia team 3-0 in front.
India dominated Australia ‘A’ with high pressing in the first quarter, earning a penalty corner in the 10th minute but were unable to capitalise. The hosts then won a couple of penalty corners, but India’s defence held strong to prevent them from taking the lead, and the first quarter ended goalless.
India focused on maintaining ball possession in the second quarter, but Australia ‘A’ took the lead when Alice Arnott (18′) scored a field goal. Ruby Harris (20′) capitalised on a defensive error as she was left free at the far post and easily put the ball in India’s goal to double the hosts’ lead moments later as she was free at the far post.
With the scoreline stacked against them, India began to play aggressively and even made some good attacks, but couldn’t score a goal as Australia ‘A’ went into the half-time break leading 2-0.
Australia ‘A’ extended their lead early in the third quarter when Ruby Harris (35′) scored her second goal of the game to make it 3-0 for the hosts.
However, a few minutes later, Salima Tete (40′) scored India’s first goal of the match with a brilliant shot from just inside the D. The third quarter didn’t see any more goals and it came to a close 3-1 in favour of Australia ‘A’.
In their bid to bounce back in the game, India came out all guns blazing in the fourth quarter and even won two penalty corners but couldn’t convert them.
However, the visitors kept testing the home team’s defence and it finally paid off as Sangita Kumari (54′) netted a goal in the dying minutes of the match to raise hopes of a draw.
But Australia A managed to thwart the visitors from scoring another goal as the match ended 3-2 in favour of the hosts.
The Indian women’s hockey team will next take on Australia A in their last game of the tour on Saturday (May 27).