Salalah (Oman): India continued their unbeaten run in the Women’s Asian Hockey 5s World Cup Qualifier after registering a hard-fought 5-4 win over Thailand in their third match of the tournament here on Sunday.
For India, skipper Navjot Kaur (1st minute), Monika Dipi Toppo (1st, 7th), Mahima Choudhary (20th) and Ajmina Kujur (30th) were on target.
Thailand’s goals were scored by Piresram Anongnat (3rd), Aunjai Natthakarn (10th, 14th) and Suwapat Konthong (19th). The Indian women had registered a 7-1 win over Japan in their second match of the tournament on Saturday night. This was after the Indians started their campaign with a 7-2 thrashing of Malaysia on Friday.
On Sunday, India got off the blocks at a rampaging pace, putting pressure on the the Thailand defenders from the word go. Navjot opened the scoring in the first minute of the game through a field goal. India doubled their lead in no time when Monika found the back of the net from a field effort.
Thailand pulled one back through captain Anongnat two minutes. Monika soon scored her second goal of the day to make the score-line 3-1 in favour of India. With five minutes remaining in the first half, Natthakarn’s strike got Thailand back in the game.
With a minute remaining in the first half, Natthakarn found the back of the net again for Thailand to level the scores. India came out attacking in the second half and held most of the ball possession. India continued to make dangerous runs inside Thailand’s striking circle, particularly from the left flank.
However, it was Thailand who took the lead through Konthong four minutes after the change of ends. India immediately equalised through in-form Mahima as she flawlessly converted a challenge goal.
With five minutes left on the clock, India started showcasing urgency to get back their lead. Monika created an opportunity from the left flank, but the ball just went wide. With just a minute left in the game, Kujur scored the winner for India.