Adelaide: The Indian women’s hockey team put up a fighting show against Australia A before going down 2-3 here on Thursday.
Salima Tete (40’) and Sangita Kumari (54’) netted a goal each for India after Alice Arnott (18’) and Ruby Harris (20’, 35’) had put the hosts in front.
India dominated Australia A in the first quarter, earning a penalty corner in the 10th minute but was unable to capitalise.
The hosts then won a couple of penalty corners, but India’s defence held strong to prevent them from taking the lead, and the first quarter ended goalless.
India focused on maintaining ball possession in the second quarter, but Australia A took the lead when Arnott (18′) scored a field goal.
Harris (20′) doubled the hosts’ lead moments later as she was free at the far post, allowing her to easily put the ball in India’s goal.
With the scoreline stacked against them, India began to play aggressively and even made some good attacks, but couldn’t find the back of the net as Australia A went into the half-time break with the 2-0 lead.
Australia A extended their lead early in the third quarter when Harris (35′) scored her second goal of the game to make it 3-0 for the hosts.
However, a few minutes later, Tete scored India’s first goal of the match with a brilliant shot from just inside the D.
In their bid to bounce back in the game, India came out all guns blazing in the fourth quarter and even won two penalty corners but couldn’t convert them.
However, the visitors kept testing the home team’s defence and it finally paid off as Sangita Kumari netted a goal in the dying minutes of the match to keep India alive in the game.
But Australia A managed to stop the visitors from scoring another goal as the match ended 3-2 in favour of the hosts.
This was part of their final two games of the tour Down Under in the build-up to the Asian Games in September. They take on Australia A here again on Saturday.
India had earlier lost a three-match series against Australia 0-2 after going down 2-4 and 2-3 in the first two games.
The third game was a 1-1 draw after India came from behind to score an equaliser.