Murcia: An improved attack and tactical defending saw the Indian women’s hockey team convincingly beat World Cup bronze medalists Spain by 5-2 in their third match of the tour on Tuesday.
The young striker from Mizoram Lalremsiami (17′, 58′) starred in the match by scoring twice, while Neha Goyal (21′), Navneet Kaur (32′), Rani (51′) ensured India remain in the lead after an initial setback in the first quarter.
It was Spain who scored the first goal in the 7th minute of the match through Berta Bonastre, putting India on the back foot right at the start. But a determined India made a quick recovery with striker Lalremsiami’s fine goal in the 17th minute and then further improvised their attack to score in the 21st minute through Neha Goyal to take a strong 2-1 lead.
Navneet Kaur struck a splendid third goal for the team in the 32nd minute that took India’s lead to 3-1. However, Berta scored her second goal of the match in the 35th minute that narrowed India’s lead to 3-2.
India worked on a powerful finish in the fourth quarter with skipper Rani scoring in the 51st minute followed by young striker Lalremsiami scoring again in the 58th minute which helped India seal the match 5-2.
Having lost the opening match 2-3 and drawn the second match 1-1, India showed a zealous performance with fewer unforced errors to dominate the match.
“I am pleased with today’s performance. We are working to be steadier in our performance and we are improving match-by-match. This is a process and we need to keep repeating such performances to grow further,” Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne said.
“I am giving constant feedback on individual performance and behaviour and some are learning fast while some need a little bit more time. But overall, we are progressing well and beating the World Cup medal winners in their home ground is a big confidence boost for this young team,” the coach added.