Baranovichi (Belarus), June 10: India’s Junior Women's Hockey team kicked off their tour of Belarus with a 1-4 loss to the Belarus Sr Women team here on Sunday.
High on confidence, courtesy of having won the Cantor Fitzgerald U21 International 4-Nations, India kicked off proceedings at a very fast pace. Within the opening minutes of the match they won a PC, and Gagandeep Kaur made no mistake to convert and give India the lead.
After that goal though Belarus pulled up their socks and hit back with a PC of their own. Sviatlana Bahushevich converted to draw them level. The two teams went into the break level on a goal apiece.
After a frenetic first quarter both teams settled down in the second, and a as a consequence, the pace of the game dropped considerably. Belarus won the first PC of the period and Krestsina Papkova scored the goal to give them a 2-1 lead they would take into halftime.
The third quarter started with India hoping to take more control of the game in midfield and draw themselves level. Belarus though scored via a PC conversion in the opening minutes of the period, Yuliya Mikheichyk making the score 3-1. In a productive period they scored another to extend their lead to 4-1.
India worked hard through the quarter, but despite creating chances they struggled to convert and reduce the deficit. The teams went into the break with Belarus leading 4-1.
India ramped up the pressure in the final quarter hoping to score goals and put Belarus under pressure, but in the end Belarus' defence held strong and took a 4-1 victory. The Indian Women Jr Team play Belarus Jr on Monday. (UNI)