Murcia: An improved attack and tactical defending saw the Indian women’s hockey team convincingly beat 2018 World Cup bronze medallists Spain 5-2 in their third match of the tour here on Tuesday. Young striker from Mizoram Lalremsiami (17′, 58′) starred in the match by scoring twice, while Neha Goyal (21′), Navneet Kaur (32′) and Rani (51′) ensured India remained in the lead after an initial setback in the first quarter.
It was Spain, who scored the first goal in the seventh minute of the match through Berta Bonastre putting India on the back-foot right at the start. But a determined India made a quick recovery with striker Lalremsiami’s fine goal in the 17th minute and then further improvised their attack to score in the 21st via Neha Goyal to take a strong 2-1 lead.
Navneet struck a splendid third goal for the team in the 32nd minute that took India’s lead to 3-1. Though Berta scored her second goal of the match in the 35th minute that narrowed India’s lead to 3-2, the visitors worked on a powerful finish in the fourth quarter with skipper Rani scoring in the 51st minute followed by Lalremsiami scoring again in the 58th to help India seal the match 5-2.
Having lost the opening match 2-3 and drawn the second 1-1, India showed a zealous performance with fewer unforced errors to dominate the match. “I am pleased with today’s performance. We are working to be more steady in our performance and we are improving match by match. This is a process and we need to keep repeating such performances to grow further,” India chief coach Sjoerd Marijne said after the match.
“I am giving constant feedback on individual performance and behaviour and some learn fast while some need a little bit more time. But overall, we are progressing well and beating World Cup medal winners in their home ground is a big confidence boost for this young team,” he added. India will now play their fourth match on Thursday.