Indian women’s hockey team lose to New Zealand

Auckland: A spirited Indian Women’s hockey team lost a hard-fought match 0-1 to hosts New Zealand here on Wednesday.

Earlier in the tour, India had registered a 4-0 win in their first match against the New Zealand Development squad but lost 1-2 in the following match.

Though India were quick to get off the blocks on an attacking mode after winning a penalty corner in the second minute of play, the chance to convert a goal and put New Zealand on the back foot was missed.

However, in the following minutes, New Zealand created two penalty corners but India’s defence was rock solid to deny them a goal.

In the second quarter, Indian strikers again created a penalty corner but the hosts denied India a goal through the good defence.

Both teams were on par in the second quarter with the tactical play that kept each other from creating potential shots on goal.

After ending the first half with the scoreboard reading 0-0 stalemate, New Zealand began the third quarter on a positive note with Hope Ralph converting a field goal in the 37th minute.

In the last quarter though both teams traded penalty corners with New Zealand earning two penalty corners and India creating one, however, neither could find success ending the match with the scoreboard reading 0-1 in favour of New Zealand.

“Today we tried a few things on the defensive side and that allowed New Zealand to come in our circle and create opportunities but it’s better to practice these variations now in the matches as this Tour is more about our preparations for the Olympic Games and see how we can be better,” said chief coach Sjoerd Marijne after the match.

“Our game is improving every match and today was again better than the previous match. At this moment, results are not important but the process is and we are working on some new tactics that will help us in the long run,” added Marijne.

India will next take on Great Britain on February 4.