Bhubaneswar, Feb 9 (PTI) Indian women produced a flawless effort to outwit United States 3-1 and end this leg of the Hockey Pro League on a winning note here on Friday.
Vandana Katariya (9th), Deepika (26th), and Samila Tete (56th) scored for the home side, while Sanne Caarls (42nd) netted the consolation goal for the USA.
India started the game with an opportunity to score through a penalty corner but Deepika’s drag-flick sailed wide of the post.
The USA answered back with a move of their own as Elizabeth Yeager shot from a tight angle, but India captain Savita Punia diffused the situation with a save.
But India soon found the target. Sangita Kumari ventured down the right wing and tried to find Sonika in the shooting circle but the ball bounced off the US goalkeeper.
Kealsie Robles and Katariya tapped the ball in to score India’s first goal.
In the second quarter, Tete initiated a blazing run on the right wing but she couldn’t find Lalremsiami in the circle and the move fizzled out.
But India pressed on for the lead. Monika threaded a pass to Katariya who shifted the ball to Deepika on the right wing and her reverse swing capped off the intricate passing sequence with a goal.
The first half ended 2-0 in India’s favour.
In the third quarter, India continued to peg USA back in their own half and it wasn’t long before they earned a penalty corner. However, Navneet Kaur shot just wide of the post.
With three minutes left in the quarter, Caarls picked up a loose ball outside the shooting circle and unleashed a tomahawk shot to beat ‘keeper Savita and give USA a foothold.
As the game drew to a close in the final quarter, Deepika went on a scintillating run across the left wing and crossed to Tete who deflected the ball into goal and restored India’s two-goal lead.
India will now travel to Rourkela to face China on February 12. PTI UNG BS BS