Dublin: India’s Junior Women hockey team registered their second consecutive win against Ireland in the Cantor Fitzgerald U21 International 4-Nations tournament on Saturday.
With a superb comeback performance, India defeated the hosts with a 2-1 score.
The two teams took to the field with a fairly cautious initial period, both of them reserved in attack and contained in defence. It was Ireland though who came up with the first breakthrough of the game, Laura Foley scoring in the 10th minute to give them the lead. The hosts went into the break with that single-goal lead.
India stepped up the pressure in the second quarter, but despite a long period of domination they failed to create any clear chances. Ireland’s resolute defending added to the frustration and in the 26th minute, Chetna was awarded a green card, reducing the team to 10. Despite that, they held on to ensure that the deficit at half time was just the single goal.
India started off stronger in the third quarter, attacking with more intent. Deservedly they won a PC in the 35th minute, and Reet slotted it home to draw her team level.
The goal was just the boost the game needed, with both teams now picking up the pace. Despite the action, though a lack of clear chances meant, the teams went into the final break level.
A tough fourth quarter awaited both teams, and they didn’t disappoint. Both teams played at a high pace, and seven minutes into the quarter, Ireland won a PC. Bichu Devi’s save from the ensuing drag flick proved to be crucial though.
India launched an attack on the break, one that ended with Sharmila Devi slotting home to give India the lead in the 53rd minute. The hosts pressed hard for an equaliser, and had a couple of PCs soon after.
India’s defence and Bichu Devi though stood firm to deny them an equaliser. Despite a nervy ending due to Ishika Chaudhary’s yellow card in the 56th minute, India stood firm and capped off a brilliant performance with a much-deserved victory.
The Indian team will next play with Scotland on June 3.