The Indian women's hockey team put up a spirited showing in the fifth and final game of its tour Down Under, registering a 2-1 win over Australia A in a closely-fought contest in Adelaide on Saturday. (More Hockey News)
Navneet Kaur (10th minute) and Deep Grace Ekka (25th) scored the goals for India. Abigail Wilson (22th) scored the lone goal for Australia A.
Having won the previous game 3-2, Australia A started with confidence, maintaining possession early on. But Gurjit Kaur remained alert in the defence for the Indian team, not allowing the opposition entry inside the circle.
Earning three quick penalty corners, India put pressure on Australia A defence and Navneet Kaur scored the first goal with a reverse hit to give India the lead.
The second quarter started with India continuing to build momentum from the backward line. But Australia A managed to get a shot on target from a quick counter-attack, only for visiting captain Savita to make the save.
Australia A earned their first penalty corner of the night midway into the second quarter, and Abigail found the back of net with a dragflick to level the scoreline. But minutes later, Ekka put India back in the lead with a dragflick of her own on a penalty corner.
With Vandana Katariya building an attack from the left flank at the start of the second half, India earned another quick penalty corner. But this time, Australia A defence managed to avert the danger.
Controlling the midfield, Neha Goyal set up penetrating runs for Indian attackers as Australia A defence felt the pressure. India managed to maintain their lead as the third quarter came to a close.
Vandana continued to put pressure on Australia A at the start of the final quarter, with a dribbling run inside the circle. With 15 minutes left on the clock, both the teams showed urgency.
India earned a late penalty corner to create another chance and increase their lead. But the Australian defence managed to save the set-piece to keep themselves in the contest. India kept possession in the final few minutes to prevent the hosts from creating an opportunity.