The Savita-led Indian side’s victory was sealed by two goals from dragflicker Gurjit Kaur (3', 49'), while Shumin Wang (39') scored the only goal for China.
India continued their winning streak in the FIH Hockey Pro League 2021/22 on Tuesday with another crucial win. India began its campaign with a resounding 7-1 victory over China. Now, they again defeated China 2-1 in a thrilling hockey contest at the Sultan Qaboos Complex in Muscat, Oman on Tuesday. The Savita-led Indian side’s victory was sealed by two goals from dragflicker Gurjit Kaur (3′, 49′), while Shumin Wang (39′) scored the only goal for China. On the back of the victory, India climbed to the top of the points table and are tied alongside The Netherlands with 6 points in two games.
Earlier, India began the match on a positive note, moving quickly from back to front to make life difficult for China. India got an early PC in the third minute, which was converted spectacularly by Gurjit with a low, powerful hit to give her team a 1-0 lead. India continued to press high in China’s half, and Vandana Katariya received a golden opportunity to score, but her shot from inside the circle went wide off the goalpost. India managed to keep possession for most of the first quarter and maintained their 1-0 lead in the first 15 minutes.
In the beginning stages of the 2nd quarter, China pressed high in India’s circle, but Nikki Pradhan defended well to clear the danger. A move from the left flank in the 26th minute saw Ishika Chaudhary trying to cross the ball to Monika who was standing in front of the goalpost. But China defended well to clear the danger once again. In the final minute of the 2nd quarter, India had to withstand some difficult moments, with three China players entering the circle. However, the Indian defence stood tall and maintained their 1-0 lead at half time.
Even in the second half, India began aggressively with Sharmila Devi getting a chance to increase the lead in the first minute of the third quarter. But she was not able to extend the lead, as her reverse hit went wide. Soon, China began to show its counter-attacking display. A dangerous move from China from the left flank caught the Indian defence off-guard, as Wang Shumin hit the ball inside the empty net to get the equaliser in the 39th minute. At the end of the third quarter, the scoreline remained 1-1.
At the start of the fourth quarter, India earned a penalty corner in the 47th minute. However, Deep Grace Ekka’s dragflick went wide off the goalpost. In the 49th minute, India received another penalty corner. This time, Gurjit Kaur converted with a fantastic dragflick to give India a 2-1 lead. China tried to get back into the game, however, the Indian players saw out the threat. With five minutes left on the clock, India received two back-to-back penalty corners, but Deep Grace Ekka was unable to convert them into goals, but it did not matter much as India won the thrilling contest 2-1.