Indian women fetch bronze in four-nation hockey tourney

New Delhi: The Indian women`s hockey team notched up a facile 4-1 win over Ireland to clinch the bronze medal in the four-nation Tournament held in Parana, Argentina.

Both the teams were locked 1-1 at half time but India came back strongly in the second session to fire three goals.

The goal scorers for India were Jaspreet Kaur (penalty corner 7th min), Anuradha Thokchom (58th min), Vandana Katariya (68th min) and Ritu Rani (penalty corner 70th min), while Aine Connery (7th min) sounded the board for Ireland.

Ireland took an early lead in the seventh minute with the lone goal scored by Connery after a defensive lapse by the Indians.

India restored parity when Jaspreet Kaur found the target from a penalty corner in the 26th minute after an Irish defender obstructed Vandana Katariya in the striking circle.

India dominated the proceedings in the second half and exhibited flair as they mounted attacks with regular monotony.

The Indian forwards -- Poonam Rani, Vandana Katariya, Rani and Anuradha Thokchom -- were well supported by midfielders Asunta Lakra, Kirandeep Kaur and Ritu Rani as they engineered forays in the rival half.

Goalkeeper Yogita Bali and deep defenders Pinky Thokchom, Jaspreet Kaur and Preety Sunila Kiro stood tall and thwarted all moves by the Irish attackers. Anuradha Thokchom put India ahead in the 58th minute when she beat Ireland custodian Emma Gray with a deflection from a right flank cross.

Vandana Katariya increase the lead to 3-1 in the 68th minute when she found the mark after a Ritu Rani-Asunta Lakra combined midfield manoeuvre. India rounded off the tally at the stroke of full time with Preety Sunila Kiro scoring from a penalty corner variation.

India thus won both the bronze medals at four nation tournaments held at Buenos Aires and Parana on this tour. The team will return from Argentina on Wednesday. In the final world champion Argentina beat South Africa 2-0 to win the tournament.


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