Hockey skipper Rani Rampal's lone goal helps India beat Britain
After winning their opening match of the tour against the hosts' development squad, India had suffered two-back-to-back losses to New Zealand
Auckland: Skipper Rani Rampal struck the solitary goal as the Indian women's hockey team recorded a 1-0 win over Great Britain in its fourth match of the ongoing tour here on Tuesday. Rani scored the goal in the 47 minute to give Indian the lead and eventually seal the match. After winning their opening match of the tour against the hosts' development squad, India had suffered two-back-to-back losses to New Zealand.
However, on Tuesday, India played with full gusto as they began the match with a strong attack. The efforts paid off early as the team earned a PC but could not convert. But the team continued to play with a structured defence and tight passing, which ensured little room for Britain to counter attack or create chances to score.
"We created enough chances and now we need to keep working on converting those chances but our defence stood strong through the match which was a good thing," India chief coach, Sjoerd Marijne said. Ending the first half in a 0-0 stalemate, India made another PC attempt in the third quarter but could not make the opportunity count.
However, the team kept a good line of defence and continued to carry on an aggressive attack. It was not until the 47th minute when skipper Rani created space in the circle, netting a powerful shot past Britain's goalkeeper. The 1-0 lead put serious pressure on Britain who eventually could not recover. "Towards the end of the match, we were under pressure but the team handled it well and even ensured a goal. The win is good for a morale boost but for me it's all about the performance and I see we can grow and become more dominant and calmer on the ball," Marijne said.
"We now need to ensure fast recover in order to be ready for tomorrow's match," he added. The two teams will clash again on Wednesday.
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