Hockey: Indian women put up a solid show, hold Australia 1-1 in third test match (Ld)

Adelaide, May 21 (IANS) World No. 8 India women’s team put up a brilliant show to hold World No.3 Australia 1-1 in the third match of their three-match bilateral series here, coming back from a goal down to hold the hosts to a draw on Sunday.

With this result, Australia sealed the three-match bilateral series 2-0, after winning the first two games 4-2 and 3-2, respectively. The Indian women will next take on Australia A in two practice matches, the first of which will be played on May 25 at Adelaide.

Having fought well in the first two matches, the visitors came from behind to level the score as Deep Grace Ekka (41st minute) netted a goal for India after Maddison Brooks (24th min) had put the hosts in front.

India started the first quarter of the game on a positive note by keeping possession and making some good passes. The visitors also displayed a pressing game to win the ball back when Australia had possession and also won two penalty corners. On the other hand, the hosts also tested India’s defence on multiple occasions and won a penalty corner as well, however, neither of the teams was able to capitalise on the chances that they got as the opening quarter ended goalless.

In the second quarter, the Indian players showed some terrific ball control and played an attacking game. However, it was Australia who took the lead as Maddison Brooks (25′) scored a field goal after she received a pass through a quickly-taken free hit. Brooks, who was standing free at the far post, put the ball beyond India’s goalkeeper and captain Savita as the hosts went into the half-time break with a 1-0 lead.

The third quarter began with India controlling the tempo of the game in their bid to find the equaliser and it paid off as defender Deep Grace Ekka converted a penalty corner in the 41st minute to level the score. The visitors continued to test Australia’s defence as they were eyeing to take a lead, however, the third quarter didn’t see any more goals as it ended with the score tied at 1-1.

Australia came out all guns blazing in the final quarter but India’s defence line stood strong and denied the hosts from taking a lead. In the meantime, the visiting team’s attackers also created some good chances and came close to scoring on multiple occasions but couldn’t find the back of the net as the match ended in a 1-1 draw.

–IANS

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