Riding on captain Rani Rampal’s Hat-trick, India Under-21 Women Hockey team defeated New Zealand by 6-1 to register first win in Volvo Invitational U-21 (Women) Tournament today.
Both the teams in their bid to not allow easy goals to each other ensured that their defence was strong, restricting the forwards to capitalise on the opportunities. It was the commendable performance from the Captain Rani who scored a hat-trick and took India to the winning score of 6-1 against New Zealand.
The two teams started the first half with great speed and attacking skills trying to create the initial pressure but the Indian team proved to be more into business, restricting and not allowing the easy goals. It was India’s Rani who drew the first blood and slammed the ball past the goalkeeper in the fifth minute to open the score card by 1-0. Without wasting much time, Navneet Kaur scored the second goal for India with a field effort in the ninth minute and took the lead in the game by 2-0. New Zealand was constantly looking to pierce the defence of the opponents and earned a penalty corner but failed to materialize it. India kept on its attacking spree and struck the third field goal through the energetic efforts of Rani in the 30th minute. However, New Zealand made clever attempts to enter the India’s inner circle but failed to open their score card and the scores stood 3-0 in favour of India before the second half.
The second half continued with the same momentum as Indian eves dominated the match and maintained a constant pressure on the New Zealand girls. India’s Rani brilliantly converted a penalty corner and struck a hat trick in the 40th minute to take the scores further at 4-0. As India was awarded with penalty corners on couple of occasions, it was a field goal coming from the stick of Anupa Barla who stood tall to slam the ball into the nets in the 46th minute and escalated the lead to 5-0. While, India continued to produce a series of goals on regular intervals, New Zealand was not able to find any gaps and failed to convert the penalty corner opportunity as it was brilliantly saved by India’s goalie Inderpreet Kaur. New Zealand girls dug deep into their stamina and finally broke the shackles to score their first goal of the match as Pippa Norman penetrated the Indian defence through a penalty corner conversion in the 53rd minute to reduce the margin by 1-5. New Zealand’s joy was short- lived as India’s Lily Mayengbam scored the sixth goal in the 70th minute to take the tally to 6-1 resulting in India winning the match by 6-1.
India U-21 Women team will now clash against England U-21 team on 25th July 2015 at 16:45 IST at Breda, The Netherlands.