India thrash Azerbaijan 3-0 in third hockey Test

New Delhi: Indian eves registered a 3-0 victory over a hapless Azerbaijan in the third match to keep their slate clean in the four-Test hockey series at the Major Dhyan Chand National stadium on Wednesday.

Leading 2-0, India played a slow-paced game but it was still enough to thwart the Azerbaijan challenge and take a 3-0 lead, with just one match to go.

India created a lot of opportunities in both the halves and scored through Sushila Chanu (3rd minute), Anuradha Devi (22nd) and Ritu Rani (67th).

Sushila put India ahead when her hit from the right flank got deflected by rival player Lyudmila Chegurko`s stick before finding the target.

After conceding the initiative early, Azerbaijan pressed hard for the equaliser and even earned three penalty corners, only to squander them all.

India too squandered a set piece in the 20th minute with Joydeep Kaur`s shot being foiled by the defence.

However, Anuradha made up for the lapse and found the cage after Vandana Kataria`s reverse hit rebounded off in the late moments of the first half put India 2-0 up.

Azerbaijan made quite a few forays at India`s goal post in the second half and had their chances but they failed to penetrate India`s defence. They even earned two more penalty corners but failed to make them count.

India continued to dominate the proceeding in the second half and earned four more penalty corners but their variations didn`t pay off.

Three minutes from the hooter, India put the final nail in their rival`s coffin when Ritu dribbled past a couple of Azerbaijan players and slammed one to the left of the post from closed range.