The Indian women’s hockey team came down with a goal to beat USA 4-2 in their opening match of the FIH Pro League double-header in Rotterdam on Tuesday. Daniel Grega gave USA the lead in the 28th minute with a field effort, before the Indians came back into the match with 3-1 goals from Deep Grace Ekka (31st), Navneet Kaur (32nd) and Sonika (40th). Chief. The Americans closed the gap in the 45th minute through a penalty corner from Natalie Konerth before Vandana Katariya scored a field goal in the 50th minute to seal the game in India’s favour.
India got off to a positive start but the US got their first opportunity in the 10th minute in the form of a penalty corner but lost it.
Soon the Indians made the first shot on goal but Gurjit Kaur’s attempt from a penalty corner missed the target.
In the 22nd minute, America got one penalty corner after another but lost both. USA defended Vandana’s double effort from field play in the 27th minute but in the process, India secured a penalty corner but to no avail.
A minute later, the United States broke the impasse through Grega, who passed the ball past Indian goalkeeper Bichu Devi Kharibam with a lofted pass from midfield to Erin Matson.
Just 45 seconds into the third quarter, India equalized through a penalty corner conversion from Deep Grace, before Navneet stunned the Americans with a fine field goal from Vandana after a fine build from the right.
The Indians had chances in the form of penalty corners but they squandered them.
Bichu Devi made a brilliant save in the 39th minute to deny the Americans.
A minute later, Sonika extended India’s lead with a field goal due to a defensive lapse from the Americans.
The United States did not give up and reduced the margin on the stroke of the third quarter via a penalty corner conversion by Konerth.
Five minutes into the fourth and final quarter, India regained their two-goal advantage when Vandana scored with a fierce shot from the right.
Thereafter, both the teams worked especially hard for the United States’ goals, but they failed to break the tenacious Indian defence.
India and America will once again face each other in the second match of the tie on Wednesday.
Argentina have already claimed the title with 42 points from 16 matches, while tournament debutant India are third with 27 points from 13 matches.
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