5-Nations U23 hockey : Indian jr women start with 4-1 win over hosts Ireland

Dublin : The Indian junior women’s hockey team started their Uniphar U23 5-Nation Tournament with a comprehensive 4-1 win over hosts Ireland on Sunday.Annu (12th min), Deepika Soreng (25th), Monika Dipi Toppo (45th) and Beauty Dungdung (47th min) netted one goal each for India while Mikayla Power (19th) netted the solitary goal for Ireland.

The match started with Ireland putting pressure on India and earning a Penalty Corner in the fifth minute. However, the Indian defence stood tall and denied the hosts from scoring.Three minutes later, the home side won back-to-back PCs, but India’s solid defence once again prevented them from breaking the deadlock.

India, on the other hand, cautiously, went on to take the lead in the 12th minute through Annu’s strike. In the 15th minute, they even earned their first PC but missed out on converting it, thus ending the first quarter with a 1-0 lead.

Trailing by a goal, Ireland started the second quarter on the attack and their efforts got paid off as Mikayla Power scored the equaliser in the 19th minute.However, India restored their lead through Deepika Soreng as she notched up her first goal of the match in the 25th minute.

After that, India did well to hold on to their lead as the second quarter came to an end.A dominating start to the third quarter saw India creating many goalscoring opportunities. They won two back-to-back PCs in the 36th and 39th minutes respectively, but they missed out on converting their chances.

However, the visitors did not have to wait long for their third goal as Monika Dipi Toppo’s 45th-minute strike put India two goals (3-1) ahead of Ireland at the third end of the third quarterMuch like the third quarter, India started the fourth quarter with high energy, penetrating Ireland’s defensive line with ease with their aggressive play.

India’s tactics worked well as VC Beauty went on to add a fourth goal to India’s tally in the 47th minute. Ireland had a chance to pull one back through a PC, but they failed to convert it and lost the game 1-4.The Indian junior women’s hockey team will square off against the Netherlands in their second match of the tournament on Monday, June 20.



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