Adelaide, May 27 (IANS) The Indian women's hockey team put up a spirited showing in the fifth and final game of their tour, defeating Australia 'A' 2-1 in a closely-fought tie here on Saturday, ending their tour Down Under on a positive.
Navneet Kaur (10') and Deep Grace Ekka (25') scored the goals for India while Abigail Wilson (22') scored the lone goal for Australia 'A'.
Having won the previous encounter 3-2, Australia 'A' started with confidence, maintaining possession early on. Gurjit Kaur remained alert in the defence for the Indian women's hockey team, not allowing the opposition entry inside the circle.
Earning three quick penalty corners, India put pressure on the Australia 'A' defence and Navneet Kaur (10') scored the first goal with a reverse hit to give India the lead.
The second quarter started with India continuing to build momentum from the backward line. But Australia 'A' managed to get a shot on target from a quick counter-attack, only for captain Savita to make the save. Australia 'A' earned their first penalty corner of the night midway into the second quarter, and Abigail Wilson (22') struck the back of the nets with a drag-flick to level the scoreline. But minutes later, Deep Grace Ekka (25') put India back in the lead with a drag flick of her own on a penalty corner.
With Vandana Katariya building an attack from the left flank at the start of the second half, India earned another quick penalty corner. But this time, the Australia 'A' defence managed to avert the danger.
Controlling the midfield, Neha Goyal set up penetrating runs for Indian attackers as Australia 'A' defence felt the pressure. India managed to maintain their 2-1 lead as the third quarter came to a close.
Vandana continued to put pressure on Australia 'A', at the start of the final quarter, with a dribbling run inside the circle. With 15 minutes left on the clock, both teams started showcasing urgency.
India earned a late penalty corner to create another chance to increase their lead. But the Australia 'A' defence managed to save the set-piece to keep themselves in the contest. India kept possession in the final few minutes to prevent Australia 'A' from creating an attacking opportunity and won the thrilling encounter 2-1.
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