The Indian women’s hockey team on Friday suffered its fourth straight defeat of the tour, losing 0-3 to hosts New Zealand. The hosts on the other hand registered their fourth consecutive win.
India needed to win the five-match series to qualify for the 2018 World Cup but that possibility doesn not exist anymore.
Following three successive 4-1, 8-2 and 3-2 wins in the first three matches, New Zealand dominated today’s game too.
Tessa Jopp fetched the hosts their second goal in the 17th minute. New Zealand earned a penalty corner which was successfully converted by Jopp.
Down by two goals, the Indian strikers made strong amends and tried different variations to find a goal but they failed to break the opposition defence.
In-form Rachael McCann struck her second goal of the match in the 26th minute to take New Zealand to a comfortable 3-0 lead at the end of half-time.
The final two quarters saw Indian goalkeeper Rajani Etimarpu stay busy at the post, defending several attempts on goal by New Zealand. She made some impressive saves to keep the Black Sticks from taking further lead.
The Indian defence too stitched together a well-structured strategy to ensure a goalless third and fourth quarters.
While India had dominated with the ball possession (57 per cent as opposed to New Zealand’s 43 per cent) in their previous game, New Zealand came up with new tactics to deny the visitors any such advantage today.
The final quarter too saw the Indians make strong attempts on goal in their bid to make a comeback into the game but New Zealand stayed in control to win the match.