Manheim (Pennsylvania), July 23 (IANS) India’s women’s hockey team thrashed Canada 5-2 to record their second victory in their United States tour here.
Vandana Katariya (ninth and 51st minutes) and Deepika (38th and 49th) scored a brace each and Poonam Rani netted the fifth in the 58th minute of the match on Saturday.
Getting quickly off the block, India were dominant in the early exchanges, putting Canada on the defensive.
The Indian eves got a penalty corner early in the first quarter, but failed to convert it. Soon enough though, they had the lead via Vandana’s field goal.
Off a second penalty corner soon after, Poonam’s deflected shot was saved by the defender on the post to prevent India doubling their lead. Canada came out with a penalty corner of their own but India defended strongly to prevent an equaliser and went into the break with the lead.
Canada came out quicker in the second quarter and scored the equaliser with Stephanie Norlander’s penalty corner conversion in the 17th minute. Over the course of the quarter, India stoically defended several of Canada’s penalty corners and ensured they went into half-time level at 1-1.
The two teams came out all guns blazing in the second half; Canada dominating the ball in midfield as India looked to play on the counter. It was the latter’s tactics that worked, though. A quick press led to Deepika scoring their second to take the lead in the 38th minute.
Canada equalised via a Brienne Stairs goal in the 42nd minute. With little time left in the third quarter, a host of chances fell to both sides with their respective goalkeepers put to the test.
Canada’s penalty corner was bravely denied by Savita in India’s goal, before an attempt by Anuradha was denied by Kaitlyn Williams in Canada’s. The teams went into the final break tied at 2-2.
In the final quarter India came out with renewed zest and were soon in the lead via Deepika’s second goal in the 49th minute. Two minutes later, Vandana doubled her tally with a field goal and extended India’s lead to 4-2.
Reeling from the double blow, Canada tried to string together some possession and take control of the game, but India never truly let them back in it. Poonam scored a fifth in the 58th minute to consolidate a second consecutive victory for India on the tour.