Women's Hockey: India goes down 2-3 to China in a tense encounter
New Delhi, 17 July, 2023
India waged a grim battle before going down 2-3 to China in a closely-fought Women's Hockey match in Limburg, Germany, Navneet Kaur (24', 45') scored a brace for the losers while Chen Jiali (9'), Zhong Jiaqi (45') and Xu Yanan (51') scored for the winners.
This was India’s first match of the European tour, which is part of the team’s preparations for the Asian Games The tour includes three matches in Germany - one against China and two against the hosts - and a four-nation hockey tournament in Spain.
World No. 8 India attacked from the start and earned a penalty corner in the third minute but the Chinese defence thwarted the danger. A few minutes later, an infringement while defending saw India concede a penalty stroke. China, 11th in the women's hockey rankings, capitalised on the chance and scored their first goal. The next few minutes saw both the teams trade penalty corners but neither side could convert.
The Indian women began the second quarter on an aggressive note. A well-executed attack saw India win back-to-back penalty corners but neither yielded any goals. However, they went on the offensive and scored the equalizer via Navneet Kaur’s goal minutes later.
Buoyed by this equalizer the Indians took the lead in the 45th minute when Navneet Kaur scored her second goal to make it 2-1. However, China was quick to equalize via a penalty corner through Zhong Jiaqi.
Xu Yanan’s 51st-minute strike gave China a 3-2 lead. Though India created a few chances in the dying minutes of the game, they were unable to beat the Chinese defense.
India will play Germany in back-to-back matches on Tuesday and Wednesday next before departing for Spain.