FIH Hockey Pro League: Indian women’s team defeats Australia 1-0 for second win in the event

Rourkela: Forward Vandana Katariya scored the lone winner as India defeated Australia 1-0 in the Women’s FIH Hockey Pro League 2023/24 to bring up their second win of the tournament at the Birsa Munda International Hockey Stadium here on Saturday.

The Indian women’s hockey team found themselves under pressure early in the first quarter as Australia was awarded a penalty corner in the third minute. However, the Indian captain and goalkeeper did well to keep the ball out. A few minutes later Jane Claxton took a shot at goal but it went on to hit the goalpost, providing the Indian women’s hockey team a stroke of luck. The first quarter was plenty of action but ended without any goals scored.

The second quarter started with the Indian women’s team being awarded a penalty corner early on but it wasn’t converted. Australia won their second penalty corner in the 20th minute and it was yet another failure at conversion. Both the teams made plenty of circle entries but the first half ended goal-less.

The Indian women’s hockey team brought a whole new level of intensity to their game in the third quarter and were justly rewarded with a goal as they broke the deadlock courtesy of a stunning goal from Vandana Katariya (34’) who dived to put the ball into the back of the net on a penalty corner as India took the lead. Sangita Kumari, who was playing her 50th international match, won yet another penalty corner but it wasn’t converted. The Indians were well in control of the third quarter as it ended 1-0 in favour of the Indians.

Australia started the final quarter with a penalty corner but it was kept out. Navneet won India another penalty corner in the 52nd minute but it didn’t get past the Australian defence. The Indians continued to play a tight defence. The Australians were awarded a penalty corner with just over a minute left to try and take the game into a penalty shootout, but India successfully reviewed the decision to have it overturned.

Another penalty corner was awarded to Australia with just about half a minute left but it was a botched attempt as India went on to win their second game of the tournament, beating the Australians 1-0.

The Indian women’s hockey team will next take on the United States of America on February 18.


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