Indian women’s hockey team bounced back strongly in the second match of Olympic Test Event against Australia on Sunday. Despite facing a goal deficit in an early stage, Rani Rampal-led squad leveled up the game with 2-2 verdict with the help of star performers Vandana Katariya and Gurjit Kaur.
World No. 10 Indian Women’s Hockey team began the game on an aggressive note as they kept on searching for an early lead against the powerful opponents. However, none of the sides managed to score an opener in the initial minutes of the game. But it was Australia who finally broke the silence in 14th minute with a terrific shot by Kaitlin Nobbs. The young Australian player made no mistake to give her squad a 1-0 lead in the nail-biting first quarter against team India.
The second quarter of the game proved a bit smooth for Australia as the World No. 2 squad mounted immense pressure on Indian Women’s Hockey squad. But India’s experienced goalie Savita was no less behind Aussies to protect her team firmly. As a result, the scoreboard remained the same in the second quarter also. It went goal-less for both the teams.
In the third quarter also, Australian women tried hard to dominate the lead but India made a strong comeback in a game and Vandana Katariya smashed an equalizer at 36th minute. This gracious move by Vandana stunned the Australian squad completely and they went more hostile in the game. This resulted in Australia found the net one more time at 43rd minute through Grace Stewart exquisite goal.
In the dying minutes of the game, when Australia was looking for extending the lead, India surprisingly scored another equalizer with the help of talented dragflicker Gurjit Kaur who grabbed the goal for her squad from a penalty corner at 59th minute. As a result, India and Australia finished off with a 2-2 draw.
Earlier in their campaign opener against the hosting team Japan, India Women’s Hockey Team clinched the win easily with the close margin of 2-1 at Oi Hockey Stadium. In that game also classic defender Gurjit Kaur played a crucial role against the opponents. Gurjit singlehandedly lifted her side in the opener of Test Event.
India will next take on strong opponents China in the third and the last encounter of Round-Robin league stage at Olympic Test Event on Tuesday. Only time will tell whether Indian women will keep their winning streak alive at the tournament or they will go back home empty-handed.