Murcia: Indian women’s hockey team dished out a spirited performance to notch up a stunning 3-0 victory against World cup silver medallists Ireland in their second and final friendly to end their tour of Spain on a high here on Sunday. India had drawn the first match 1-1 against Ireland on Saturday.
India’s attacking prowess stretched the Irish defenders right from the start as the forwardline made potential forays into the striking circle. Navjot Kaur found the first breakthrough for India when she converted a splendid field goal in the 13th minute to help India take a 1-0 lead.
An Indian infringement in the second quarter saw Ireland being awarded a PC but it was well-saved by India’s defence. In the 26th minute, a timely assist by the experienced Deep Grace Ekka helped Reena Khokar double India’s lead to 2-0 ahead of the 10-minute half-time break.
India continued to keep up a discipline structure but in the melee gave away a PC to Ireland only minutes into the third quarter. But India’s strong defence kept an Irish goal at bay. The final quarter saw India set up a powerful attack that fetched them a PC which was well-converted by Gurjit Kaur who was the highest goal scorer for India in this Tour.
“I am proud of the team because playing six matches in nine days can be very difficult and the last two matches we have played without our skipper Rani who has a shoulder strain,” said an elated Sjoerd Marijne, Chief coach of the Indian women’s hockey team.
“Today we were particularly good as we controlled the whole match and had them in our circle only six times. We have played good structure, with good disciplined hockey. “One of the things we have improved in this tour is personal leadership and taking responsibility. I am not only seeing the score, it’s good to win 3-0 but I am happy with individual performances.” Earlier, India had levelled the four-match series against hosts Spain.