India suffered a 4-1 loss against New Zealand, in their first encounter of the five-match series at the Rosa Birch park in Pukekohe on Sunday. New Zealand started to build pressure on the visitors by showing some attacking game through out the match. Indian women had a promising start as they lived up to the kiwi challenge, not allowing easy chances to the home side.
Rani was leading the Indian side, the deadlock was broken in the 13th minute by New Zealand when Jordan Grant scored the first goal giving Black caps a 1-0 lead in the first quarter.
The second goal came for New Zealand in the 23rd minute as Olivia Merry gave them a 2-0 lead. In the first two quarters, New Zealand were easyily dominating the Indian women. After half-time, Indian women got themselves back in the game after lagging behind with a 2-0 scoreline.
India’s coach Sjoerd Marijne brought some crucial changes after the half time which finally helped India to pull themselves back with Anupa Barla scoring in the 31st minute, narrowing down the lead to 1-2.
The Indian forward line-up including Vandana Katariya failed to capitalise on the given chances and couldn’t make it 2-2. Meanwhile, in the 43rd minute New Zealand struck their third goal with Rachael McCann making it 3-1 for the hosts to end the third quarter.
The match was almost over in the 55th minute when New Zealand scored their fourth goal as India made a defensive error in the circle and Deanna Ritchie capitalised on the given ooportunity.
Even after conceding the fourth goal, India tried their best to make comebacks in the match, creating space and variations but New Zealand’s defence was too strong to provide them any opportunity to score, thus ending the final scoreline with 4-1.
India will play their second match of the five match series against New Zealand on May 16.