Melbourne [Australia], Nov.25 (ANI
): The Indian women's hockey team suffered a crushing 1-4 defeat at the hands of Australia in an action-packed second Test match at the State Netball and Hockey Centre here on Friday.
The hosts stepped up their game a few notches to provide a stiff challenge to the visitors, beginning the first quarter with several circle penetrations to test the Indian defence.
India's star from the first Test match, goalkeeper Rajani Etimarpu
, was in action from the very first minute, saving a powerful strike from Kathryn Slattery.
The Australian striker created an opportunity in the 8th minute, scoring a field goal to give the hosts a 1-0 lead. However, a couple of miraculous saves from Etimarpu ensured India did not concede any other goal going into the second quarter.
The Australians continued to apply pressure on the India in the next fifteen minutes as well, and it took some world-class goalkeeping from Etimarpu to blunt a forceful hit from Jordyn Holzberger.
Deepika and Monika continued to tackle the dangerous Australian frontline before Georgia Nanscawen deflected a reverse hit from Laura Barden to give the Hockeyroos a 2-0 advantage.
The dependable Rani gave a prompt response as she scored India's first goal and her second of tournament from a long corner in the very next minute. However, the deficit increased as Ashlea Fey successfully converted a penalty corner to score her first goal of the series.
India and Australia played out an eventful third quarter, with the Australians earning as many as four penalty corners. Etimarpu was in the thick of action once again, as she successfully prevented the Hockeyroos from scoring off penalty corners. The score line read an unchanged 3-1 at the beginning of the final quarter of the match.
Although the Indian girls raised their game as they kept searching for vulnerabilities in the Australian backline, a penalty corner for Australia resulted in another goal, this time from the stick of Edwina Bone in the 51st minute.
The closing stages of the match saw India earn consecutive penalty corners, however, the Australians did not allow the visitors to bring down the deficit. The Hockey
roos cleverly held the ball away from the Indian team, as they could not replicate the heroics from the first match, eventually conceding a 1-4 defeat.
The next match between India
will be played on November 27. (ANI