Indian eves held to 2-2 draw in New Zealand

New Delhi: Indian women`s team squandered a
two-goal lead to settle for a 2-2 draw against New Zealand in
the third test at the Kett Capital Hockey Stadium in Napier on Thursday.

With Saba Anjum (4th minute) and Chanchan Thockchom (8th)
sounding the board, India raced to a 2-0 lead but Kiwi rookie
Stacey Brannigan`s (27th and 57th) double strike earned the
hosts a draw.

India lead the five-match series 1-0, having won the
opener at Palmerston North while the second test was drawn.

The final two matches of the series will be played in
Wellington this weekend, according to a Hockey India release

In today`s match, India were quick to open their account
as Saba Anjum scored from a fast counter-attack.

Four minutes later, Chanchan Thockchom scored with a
deflection from a straight shot by Subhadra Pradhan from a
penalty corner.

The Black Sticks then got one back through a field goal
by Stacey Brannigan, her first international goal, which she
struck home from close range in the 27th minute.

In the second half, New Zealand held the ball well and
had a lot of possession but were unable to convert their
chances until the 57th minute when Brannigan scored again with
a diving deflection.

The last 10 minutes of the match was played at high pace
but both teams were unable to find the winner. Indian captain
Surinder Kaur and Rani Rampal each had a good opportunity to
score but the New Zealand defence foiled their attempts.

Indian goalkeeper Deepika Murty also made an important
save in the final minute to deny the Black Sticks their first
win of the series.


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