New Delhi: Indian eves trounced their New Zealand counterparts 3-2 in their first match of the 22nd Lal Bahadur Shastri Under-21 Four Nation women`s hockey tournament.
The Indian girls surprised the visiting team with their pace and touch and did not allow them to settle down. They tried to build the pressure on the visitors from the onset eking out a penalty corner in the second minute of the game.
The first goal, however, came in the eighth minute with Anupa Barla threading the ball past Kiwi goalkeeper from the right.
New Zealand levelled the scores four minutes later through Sian Fremaux but could not hold on to the score as India managed to take the lead in the next minute with Anju Dhiman converting the penalty corner.
Kiwis had another go at the Indian post in the 16th minute through a penalty corner but they failed to capitalise.
India maintained their ascendancy in the first half with a superior ball possession and consistent attack particularly from the right flank with Neha Goyal making some swift moves to the top of New Zealand half.
The visitors made some attempts at the Indian goalpost but an aware Indian goalkeeper was upto the task.
India had a lucky escape in the 31st minute when the ball ricocheted of the bar as New Zealand missed out on one more penalty corner.
Riding on the momentum of the first half, India started the second half on an aggressive note attacking from the left flank but New Zealand escaped unscathed.
The Indian charge was though short lived as the visitors raised their game with Tara Hal finally converting a penalty corner to bring them back into the game.
India looked a distant shadow of what they were in the first half as the physically tougher Kiwis came hard on the Indian goal post.