Baranovichi (Belarus), June 13 (IANS) India’s junior women’s hockey team went down 1-4 to the Belarus senior women’s team in the third match of the ongoing series. Belarus lead the series 2-1.
Despite the scoreline, India’s juniors held Belarus for large periods of the match played on Wednesday, and tested their defence constantly.
Belarus’ team kicked off proceedings at a very high pace and won their first penalty corner (PC) of the game within minutes of the hooter. Ryta Batura converted the subsequent attempt to give Belarus the lead.
India slowly clawed their way back into the game gaining possession and creating some chances, but Belarus hit back at speed and Dziyana Khmylova’s goal extended their lead. The hosts went into the break leading by two goals.
India took the initiative in the second quarter and won a corner right at the start, dragging it wide. Over the course of the period, the teams traded penalty corner attempts but neither could find the breakthrough. Finally at the end of the quarter, Mumtaz converted to draw India to within one goal. The teams went into half-time, India trailing 2-1.
In a tightly contested third quarter, both sides were eager not to concede an inch. The period was dominated by a lot of exchanges in the midfield, and despite India attacking at regular intervals they didn’t create clear chances for conversion.
In a frenetic final quarter, the two teams exchanged PCs right at the start, with both failing to convert or trouble the scoreboard. After a long period of both teams attacking but failing to create opportunities, it was Belarus which got breathing space via Krestsina Papkova’s PC conversion.
India had a few chances late in the game, but failed to convert them to reduce the deficit. In the last minute of play, Natalia Shitin scored a fourth to complete Belarus’ victory.
Both the teams will face each other next on Friday.