Bhubaneswar: The Indian women’s hockey team lost 0-3 to third ranked Australia, completing a hat-trick of defeats in the FIH Hockey Pro League 2023-24 here on Wednesday.
Australia captain Grace Stewart (19th minute), Tatum Stewart (23rd) and Kaitlin Nobbs (55th) were the goalscorers for the winners in the match played at Kalinga Stadium.
India started the match on the offensive, forcing Australia to concede a penalty corner in the second minute of the game but an alert visiting side goalkeeper Zoe Newman averted the danger.
Both the teams created significant goal-scoring opportunities in the next couple of minutes but were unable to find the back of the board.
Australia piled on the pressure as the first quarter came to a close but the Indian defence stood firm.
As India continued to search for a goal in the second quarter Australia initiated a counter through Nobbs, who found herself open in the shooting circle and passed on the ball to Stewart, who tapped the ball in to score the first goal of the game.
Indian team tried creating chances but was unable to get it right in the striking circle.
Soon after, Australia went for a quick counter through Amy Lawton but her reverse shot was battered away by Indian goalie Bichu Devi Kharibam.
Halfway through the second quarter Australia earned a penalty corner and a drag-flick by Stewart doubled Australia’s lead.
India pegged Australia back as the first half was drawing to a close and earned two penalty corners. However they failed to capitalise on either of them and the scoreline remained 0-2.
The Hockeyroos were happy to sit back and absorb the pressure in the third quarter as India struggled to find a chink in their armour.
India had the opportunity to score through a penalty corner in the last minute of the quarter but Udita slapped the ball wide and Australia retained their two-goal lead.
India pressed hard in the last quarter and were awarded a penalty corner two minutes into the final 15 minutes of the game but Udita’s shot, from a variation, sailed wide of the post again.
A few minutes later, Mumtaz Khan earned a penalty corner but the Indians once again failed to convert.
A blistering counter-attacking goal for Australia seals their second victory in two days in season 5 of the #FIHProLeague against hosts India!
— International Hockey Federation (@FIH_Hockey) February 7, 2024
Australia increased their lead as Nobbs rolled the ball through Savita’s leg to make it 3-0 with five minutes left in the game.
As the game drew to a close Navneet attempted a shot on goal but the Australian keeper was alert in front of the goal.
India will take on the United States on Friday.
(This report has been published as part of the auto-generated syndicate wire feed. Apart from the headline, no editing has been done in the copy by ABP Live.)
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