Bhubaneswar: The Indian Women’s Hockey Team registered a 0-3 defeat against Australia in the FIH Hockey Pro League 2023/24 at Kalinga Hockey Stadium in Odisha capital here today.
Australia’s Captain Grace Stewart (19’), Tatum Stewart (23’), and Kaitlin Nobbs (55’) were the goal scorers on the day.
India started the match on the front foot, forcing Australia to concede a penalty corner in the second minute of the game but Australia’s goalkeeper Zoe Newman was on her toes to avert any danger. Both teams went on to create significant goal scoring chances in the next couple of minutes but were unable to find the final touch. Australia piled on the pressure as the first quarter came to a close but the Indian defence stood firm.
As India continued to search for a goal in the second quarter Australia initiated a counter through Kaitlin Nobbs who found herself open in the shooting circle and passed to Grace Stewart who tapped the ball in to score the first goal of the game. India tried to create chances but were unable to stitch together the final pass. Soon after, Australia looked to hurt India with a quick counter through Amy Lawton but her reverse shot was battered away by Bichu Devi Kharibam. Halfway through the second quarter Australia earned a penalty corner and a drag flick by Tatum Stewart doubled Australia’s lead in the game. India pegged Australia back as the first half was drawing to a close and earned two penalty corners but failed to capitalise on either of them and the scoreline remained 2-0.
The hockeyroos were happy to sit back and absorb the pressure in the third quarter as India struggled to find a chink in their armour. India had the opportunity to score through a penalty corner in the last minute of the quarter but Udita slapped the ball wide and Australia retained their two-goal lead.
India stepped up their press in the last quarter and were awarded a penalty corner two minutes in but India attempted a variation and Udita’s shot sailed wide of the post again. A few minutes later Mumtaz Khan swiveled to draw a foul in the shooting circle but the penalty corner was frantic and India failed to convert. Australia further increased their lead in the game as Kaitlin Nobbs rolled the ball through Savita’s leg to make it 3-0 with five minutes left in the game. As the game drew to a close Navneet attempted a shot on goal but the keeper remained alert in goal and the match ended 3-0 in Australia’s favour.
India will take on the United States in its next match February 9.