Women’s Hockey: Gurjit Kaur’s brace helps India beat China 2-1 in FIH Hockey Pro League
New Delhi, February 1, 2022
Riding on dragflicker Gurjit Kaur’s brace, India overpowered spirited China 2-1 in their second leg match of the FIH Women’s Hockey Pro League at the Sultan Qaboos Complex in Muscat, Oman on Tuesday.
The Indian girls, who had swamped China 7-1 in the first leg, had to wage a grim battle before collecting full points.
Gurjit Kaur scored a goal in each half (3’, 49’) while Shumin Wang (39') scored for China. With the win, India climbed to the top of the points table, tied alongside The Netherlands with 6 points in two games.
India opened the proceedings in an attacking mode, moving quickly from back to front, and took the lead in the 3rd minute.
The winners earned a penalty corner in the third minute which was converted by Gurjit with a low, powerful hit (1-0) . China launched a counter-attack, but Sushila Chanu defended well in her own circle to deny the opposition.
India continued to press high in China's half, and Vandana Katariya had a superb opportunity to score, but her shot from inside the circle went wide of the goalpost.
At the start of the second quarter, China pressed high in India's circle, but Nikki Pradhan defended well to clear the danger.
In the 18th minute, Navneet Kaur tried to find Vandana Katariya inside the circle from the right flanks, but her cross went wide and India could not extend their lead. A move from the left flank in the 26th minute saw Ishika Chaudhary trying to cross the ball to Monika who was standing in front of the goalpost.
India faced some anxious moments in the final minute of the 2nd quarter with three China players entering the circle, but the defence managed to hold on and frustrated all the attempts.
India started the second half aggressively with Sharmila Devi getting a chance to increase the lead in the first minute of the third quarter. But her reverse hit went wide,
China started counter-attacking display, as they started moving deeper inside India's half.
A dangerous move from the left flank caught the Indian defence off-guard as Wang Shumin struck the ball inside the empty nets in the 39th minute (1-1).
A challenge on Monika inside the circle, two minutes later, earned India a penalty corner. But the dragflick from Gurjit Kaur was saved by China goalkeeper. India received another penalty corner a minute later. But it reaped no rewards as well.
India went on the offensive immediately at the start of the fourth quarter, earning a penalty corner but Deep Grace Ekka's drag flick went wide of the goalpost.
In the 49th minute, India forced another penalty corner and, this time, Gurjit Kaur converted with another fantastic dragflick (2-1)
China countered but India kept their calm and ensured no further slip-ups.
With five minutes left on the clock, India received two back-to-back penalty corners, but Deep Grace Ekka was unable to convert them into goals.
India slowed down the game in the final couple of minutes, as China tried to get the ball back to get the equaliser. But they were unable to break down India's defence and India won the thrilling contest 2-1.
The Indian Women's Hockey team will next face off against The Netherlands on February 19 and 20 at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar,