New Delhi,19 May: Indian Women's hockey team put up a gallant fight before going down to Australia 2-4 in their opening match of the tour on Thursday in Adelaide.
For India, Sangita Kumari (29’) and Sharmila Devi (40’) scored a goal each, while Australia found the back of the net through Aisling Utri (21’), Maddy Fitzpatrick (27’), Alice Arnott (32’), and Courtney Schonell (35’).
Australia got into their passing rhythm quickly and dominated the visitors in the first quarter by keeping most of the possession and testing the defence numerous times. The hosts also won three penalty corners in the opening quarter of the game but failed to capitalise on it as Captain and goalkeeper Savita along with the defence line stood strong to deny the hosts from taking the lead.
However, in the second quarter, Australia netted two goals courtesy of their high tempo and attacking game. Aisling Utri (21’) scored a field goal after Courtney Schonell and Abigail Wilson combined well before the latter put in a cross across the goal for Utri to put the ball in India’s goal. Moments later, Maddy Fitzpatrick (27’) doubled the lead for the hosts as she converted a penalty corner.
Notably, the visitors started playing aggressively after conceding the second goal and it paid off as Sangita Kumari (29’) found the back of the net after Nikki Pradhan’s shot from distance took a deflection off Fitzpatrick and Sangita found herself at perfect position to put the ball beyond Australia’s goalkeeper Jocelyn Bartram. The hosts went into the half-time break with the 2-1 lead.
The third quarter started with Australia scoring a quick goal through Alice Arnott (32’), while Courtney Schonell (35’) netted the fourth goal for the hosts. However, India didn’t take much time to respond as forward Sharmila Devi (40’) converted a penalty corner as the third quarter came to a close 4-2 in favour of Australia.
The fourth and last quarter of the match ended goal-less even though both the teams came close to scoring a few times.