Second win in a row takes women to the top of Pool A

Hiroshima, June 16

Gurjit Kaur scored a brace to lead the Indian women’s hockey team to a dominant 5-0 victory over Poland at the FIH Women’s Series Finals here today. Right from the outset, India were on the attack, their left side causing problems for Poland’s defence with regularity. Poland enjoyed the lion’s share of possession, but India were causing more problems with their speed in attack.

India’s high pressing troubled Poland’s defenders constantly, resulting in missed passes and turnovers. Poland faltered in playing out from the back, and the ball fell to Navjot Kaur on the left. Her cross towards the far post was inch perfect and Jyoti’s deflection gave India the breakthrough in the 21st minute. India won a flurry of Penalty corners and Vandana Katariya converted one in the 26th minute. After Gurjit’s drag-flick was saved, the striker pounced on a loose ball to double India’s lead. From another penalty corner two minutes later, Gurjit slotted the ball home.

Gurjit got her second goal when India won a stroke in the 35th minute. The final quarter was an ill-tempered affair, both teams being reduced to 10 players at times. India held firm control over the game though, their regular circle penetrations enough to keep Poland in defensive mode.

India’s fifth came after some brilliant stick-work from Navneet Kaur in the 56th minute. Navneet picked up the ball at the top of the Poland circle, with her back towards the goal. She turned away from her marker with ease and unleashed a shot into the bottom corner.

In other matches, Russia beat Mexico 6-0, Chile edged reigning Asian Games champions Japan 3-1 and Uruguay eased past Fiji 4-0. With two wins in their opening games, India, who had beaten Uruguay 4-1 yesterday, lead Pool A with six points. They play their final pool match, against Fiji, on Tuesday.

Indian colts lose to Britain  

The Indian men's junior hockey team lost 2-1 to Great Britain in their 5th-6th place classification match of the eight-nation U-21 tournament today. Maninder Singh finished off a superb move to score the opener in the 15th minute. However, Daniel West levelled the scores in the 29th minute from a penalty corner. Andrew McConnell scored the winner eight minutes later. — PTI

RELATED Reservation for women in block councils triggers row