India’s women’s hockey team got off to a brilliant start in their five-match tour of Great Britain, winning the opening encounter 2-1.
Drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur and Sharmila Devi were on target for the Indian eves as they managed to upstage the defending Olympic champions in their own backyard.
The first two quarters saw both sides attack in equal measure, with several opportunities being created at either end. However, India and Great Britain remained resolute with their defences and ensured the scoreline remained unchanged.
India threatened with a couple of penalty corners early in the second quarter, but veteran shot-stopper Maddie Hinch pulled off some smart saves. Similarly, the hosts also attacked soon after and forced a few saves out of Indian goalkeeper Savita.
The smart goalkeeping meant that both sides were deadlocked at the half-time interval.
In the 46th minute, Great Britain finally hit the front with midfielder Emily Defroand scoring to culminate a neatly constructed move. The Indian camp though remained resolute despite falling behind and continued their attacking intent in search of an equaliser.
Their efforts finally reaped rewards when Sharmila Devi found the back of the net with less than five minutes left to be played. Then, in the last minute of the game, India won a penalty corner and 23-year-old Gurjit Kaur made the most of that opportunity as she nestled one into the corner of the net to give India a deserved 2-1 win.
This win for the Indian women’s team in the English town of Marlow comes in the same week where the Indian men managed to upstage highly ranked Belgium in their own backyard.
The next game in this five-match series will be played on Sunday (29 September).