Indian Junior women hold Belarus women team to 1-1 draw

Gagandeep Kaur scores India's equaliser in the 30th minute

Indian Junior women hold Belarus women team to 1-1 draw
Indian Junior women hold Belarus women team to 1-1 draw (pic courtesy- Hockey India )

India’s Junior women’s team  drew some consolation by holding Belarus senior women’s team to 1-1 draw in their third game today. The visiting Indian team  produced a strong and mature performance  to share honours with the  Belarus  women’s team. Belarus lead the five match series 2-1, with one drawn game.

In a close first quarter, it was India which was consistently on the front foot, with its  speed in attack and wing play, it  troubled the Belarusians. Despite dominating much of the period, India were unable to create clear goal scoring chances, and the teams went into the break goalless.

The same pattern followed in the second half, but by now the Belarusians had settled down and were happy winning the loose balls and attacking on the counter. In the 23rd minute, Yuliya Mikheychyk scored the opener to give the hosts the lead. India won its first PC of the game, but missed the attempt. Moments later though it was gifted another chance, with the referee awarding  a stroke. Gagandeep Kaur slotted home from the spot, in the final minute of the quarter to draw them level. The teams went into halftime locked at a goal apiece.

Belarus kicked off the third quarter aggressively, winning a pair of PCs right at the start. Bichu Devi in India’s goal proved to be the difference though, her smart saves were denying Belarus the goal that would give the home team the lead. India hit back immediately, winning a penalty corner. From the resultant award,  an infringement meant they were awarded a penalty stroke and the opportunity to take the lead. Reet missed from the spot though and the two teams went into the final quarter 1-1.

India entered the final quarter knowing that the onus was on it to find a winner. Belarus’ leading the series was happy to defend and hit on the counter. India dominated possession and despite attacking constantly couldn’t make clear cut inroads on the Belarus goal. The game ended in a 1-1 draw.