Captain Rani rescues India with late strikeJanuary 22, 2021
The Indian women’s hockey team wasted a number of penalty corner chances before skipper Rani Rampal’s fourth-quarter strike helped the visitors salvage a 1-1 draw against Argentina’s junior side here. It was a second straight draw for the Indian team following a 2-2 result in the tour-opener.
India began on an attacking note, earning a penalty corner in the very first minute but Gurjit Kaur’s powerful drag was saved by the Argentine goalkeeper.
India won another penalty corner in the fifth minute, but Deep Grace Ekka’s shot went wide. In the following minutes, the home side won three penalty corners and succeeded in converting the last one for a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute.
While India created plenty of opportunities to score in the second and third quarters by making a number of circle penetrations, they were unable to break the Argentine defence.
India earned four more penalty corners in the course of the game and eventually succeeded in drawing level in the 58th minute when a powerful injection by Navneet Kaur was well received and powerfully struck by Rani.
“Today the quality of play was better and that’s why we are here – to improve in every match,” said India’s chief coach Sjoerd Marijne.
“Today players got the chance to show their best and these are players who normally don’t get a chance to make the 18-member squad so it’s good they are able to get international exposure. It is also good for the core group that we are getting to try more players and see how different combinations work,” he added.
“We created enough opportunities to score more and this is an area we need to keep working on. We have a break of two days before our next game against the Argentina B team and we look forward to the challenge,” he added.
India will take on Argentina B team on Saturday. — PTI