Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Apr 4: The Indian Women’s Hockey team made a rousing start to their campaign against Malaysia in the five-match bi-lateral series as they beat the hosts 3-0 here on Thursday.
Striker Vandana Katariya starred for India with a double goal in the 17th and 60th minute while Lalremsiami scored in the 38th minute to help India win comfortably.
Though it was Malaysia who dominated the early exchanges with a penalty corner awarded to them in the third minute of the match. However, Savita thwarted the effort. India shook off the initial nerves to make potential circle entries that would put pressure on the Malaysian defenders.
Young Lalremsiami took a brave shot on goal in the 5th minute but was saved. In the 7th minute Navneet Kaur attempted a shot on goal but was denied by an alert Malaysian goalkeeper. While India found an opportunity through a penalty corner awarded in the 9th minute, the shot went wide.
With the first quarter ending with a 0-0 stalemate, India made quick amends to an average start as they dented Malaysian defence with a powerful attack that led to a fine goal by experienced striker Vandana Katariya in the 17th minute.
The 1-0 lead brought confidence in the Indian set-up to surge ahead in their attack and the forward line went about taking their chances in the striking circle, attempting shots on goal one after the other. Though none converted, the pressure was mounting on Malaysian defenders.
India controlled the proceedings in the third quarter too. They kept the Malaysian attack in check and an under-pressure Malaysian defence gave away penalty corner after making infringements in the circle. Though three penalty corners awarded to India back-to-back went in vain, India converted their second goal in the 38th minute with the help of young striker Lalremsiami.
The 2-0 lead put India in a comfortable position ahead of the fourth quarter. The Indian team remained calm in their approach, played disciplined game and did not allow errors in the final quarter. They increased the lead to 3 -0 in 60th minute with the help of striker Vandana’s goal with precision and ensured Malaysia didn’t create scoring opportunities. (UNI)