The Indian hockey U-21 team faced mixed results at the Volvo Invitational Tournament as the Women’s team earned a 3rd spot, while the men’s team failed to register a podium finish.
Indian eves goalkeeper Inderjeet Kaur helps India achieve 3rd position at the Volvo Invitational
The Indian women’s team lost just twice in the tournament to England and China respectively. When India was up against England again in the play-offs, very few would have expected the result that was finally witnessed, especially after the loss in the previous game against them. However, the Indian youngsters had other plans as they played a hard-fought draw in the regulated time leading to the shoot-outs. Indian goalkeeper Inderjeet Kaur was a revelation during the shoot-outs as she did not allow a single goal , leaving not just the opposition in shock but also the Indian supporters pleasantly surprised by her performance.
India’s journey in the tournament included a 6-1 win over the Kiwis that witnessed amazing play from both teams. But, India played a bit better and captain Rani’s hat-trick increased the joy especially as it came after a 4-2 loss to China. India failed to pick-up from the 4-4 draw against Germany and a not-so-impressive start with a 1-0 loss to hosts Netherlands.
India men’s team narrowly missed podium finish at Volvo Invitational
Indian men’s team was also up against England in the 3rd/4th place play-offs, but had to settle for fourth place. The English team dominated over India with their brilliant play, accurate passing and made the most of the limited opportunities. The previous encounter between these two teams in the final group stage match had finished in a draw at 1-1.
The Indian men’s team began the tournament well with wins over Germany and New Zealand but failed to capitalize on their form against Belgium and hosts Holland as they lost 3-1 and 2-1 respectively.
Both the Indian men’s and women’s teams will be looking to strengthen their record further in the upcoming tournaments.