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FIH Pro League: Indian women's hockey team takes down mighty Australia

Forward Vandana Katariya scored the decisive goal as the Indian women's team defeated Australia in FIH Pro League.

FIH Pro League: Indian womens hockey team takes down mighty Australia

Star Indian forward Vandana Katariya celebrates with the crowd in Rourkela after scoring against Australia.


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 18 Feb 2024 2:37 AM GMT

Usually calm and composed, Indian women's hockey team coach, Janneke Schopman was jumping with joy on the sidelines when forward Vandana Katariya sounded the board with a deflection giving India a lead of 1-0.

The lead turned out to be decisive as the Indian women's team defeated world number three Australia first time since that glorious quarter-final clash in the Tokyo Olympics.

This is India's second win in the ongoing FIH Pro League after two consecutive losses.

The celebrations showed the significance of the win for the Indian team which has endured some tough times in the past few weeks after losing an Olympic berth and managing just a win in the FIH Pro League at home.

The Indian team played a brilliant match against a superior opponent and rattled them with its intensity.

The Indian Women’s Hockey Team found themselves under pressure early in the first quarter as Australia was awarded a penalty corner in the third minute. However, the Indian Captain and goalkeeper did well to keep the ball out.

The second quarter started with the Indian Women’s team being awarded a penalty corner early on but it wasn’t converted. Australia won their second penalty corner in the 20th minute and it was yet another failure at conversion. Both the teams made plenty of circle entries but the first half ended goal-less.

However, it was the third quarter when everything changed as the Indian team walked out as a different beast. As the third quarter started, Navneet Kaur's intense running in midfield started rattling the Australians.

Star forward Vandana Katariya scored a stunning goal in the 34th minute leading to the crowd erupting into celebrations.

It was a beautiful combination between Naveent and Vandana where Navneet's hit from the top of the circle was deflected in by Vandana to give India 1-0 lead.

India continued raiding the Australian circle and kept winning the penalty corner but the Australians became more vigilant while defending the Indian forwards.

Australia came out with the intent to find equalizer in the final round but the Indian team continued to defend for their lives. The Indian team was not afraid to counter and they won penalty corners only to waste them.

With 32 seconds on the clock, Australia won a penalty corner adding to the anxiety of the home crowd. Although, a botched attempt meant that India win their second game in the FIH Pro League and only second win against the Australians after 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

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