The Indian women’s hockey team gave a power-packed performance on Thursday, beating Belarus 5-1 in Bhopal in the 5-match Test Series.
Following their triumph in the Asian Champions Trophy last year, the Indian women had a good start with stellar moves by Navjot Kaur (11th, 15th minutes) Punam Barla (29th), Deep Grace Ekka (57th) and Gurjit Kaur (60th). The women scored big while Sviatlana Bahushevich got a consolation goal for Belarus in the 37th minute.
As the team’s performance level is top-notch now after lifting its maiden Women’s Asian Champions Trophy, the confidence level is also high. Winning the opening day match with a 2-0 lead will further boost their morale.
The victory is built on some teamwork, of course. The first goal came from Navjot Kaur in a penalty corner. Compared to the host team, Belarus failed to measure up.
In the second quarter, the opponents tried to stop India from leading, but lost when Punam Barla beat the defenders in the striking circle.
Sviatlana Bahushevich diverted the game a bit in the third quarter but the Indian women took over in the final quarter with Ekka and Gurjit Kaur hitting back-to-back goals.
The Indian women’s hockey team had also performed brilliantly at last year’s Rio Olympics. Having qualified for the Olympics after a long gap of 36 years, no doubt the team is gearing up to be even stronger than before for the next battle.
The five-match Test series against Belarus started on Thursday. It was former Dutch women’s national coach Sjoerd Marijne’s maiden game and the second day as the team’s chief coach. The coach must be very proud.
We wish the women’s hockey team best of luck!
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