The 4-1 loss to the Black Sticks saw the Indian eves getting knocked out in the quarter-finals of the Hawkes Bay Cup 2015. Following an indifferent start to the tournament with losses to USA and China, the Indian eves pulled off an incredible draw over Australia. However, just when things were getting brighter, Ritu Rani and Co. threw away a 1-0 lead to lose 4-1 to New Zealand.
Ritu Rani opens the scoring; Petrea Webster Equalizes
The match unfolded with the Indian eves attacking with a stern ferocity. With six minutes played, the Indians won a penalty corner. A wonderfully worked variation from the Indians saw skipper Ritu Rani open the scoring early in the first quarter.
However, the lead was soon equalled by the Black Sticks. A penalty corner converted by Petrea Webster barely a minute after the Indian goal, saw New Zealand back on level terms.
In spite of having several chances in the second quarter, both sides failed to take the initiative and pull ahead. The Kiwis however, made it 2-1 with a field goal against the run of play with two minutes remaining in the first half.
Ella Gunson scores as New Zealand clinch 4-1 win
While the beginning of the third quarter saw both sides cancel each other out in midfield, the Kiwis once more found themselves ahead towards the end of the third quarter. The 3-1 scoreline was perhaps the knockout blow for the Indians.
Elle Gunson scored the final goal in the 55th minute as the Black Sticks took an unassailable 4-1 lead with barely five minutes of the match remaining.
Hawkes Bay Cup 2015: India’s road ahead
While the 4-1 loss is creating an increasing uncertainty in the Indian Women’s Hockey team, all is not lost in the Hawkes Bays Cup 2015. They will now face either the USA or South Korea for a 5-8 classification playoff match on Saturday.