Hastings (New Zealand): Following a strong performance against World No.2 Australia, the Indian women’s hockey team is all geared up for their quarter-final clash against hosts New Zealand in the Hawke’s Bay Cup here on Thursday.
India started a on poor note, losing to China and the US. But they came back well to give a tough fight to Australia at the Hastings Sports Park on Tuesday where they showcased their strong defence and did not allow the opponents to score against them.
The forwards also created opportunities to give Australia moments of panic but were unfortunate that they could not convert their opportunities, resulting in a draw. The match will motivate the team as it will look to replicating the performance when the girls meet the hosts, who have had one draw and two wins so far in the tournament.
India will look at avenging their 2014 Commonwealth Games defeat when they went down to New Zealand in Glasgow.
“Our clash against Australia was tough as they are a strong team but the positives that came out was the manner in which we held them at bay. Goalkeeping was at its best yesterday and we will be looking at showcasing the same play tomorrow,” India captain Ritu Rani said.
“What needs to click is converting the opportunities. Had we capitalised on the penalty stroke against Australia, then the story would have been different. The performance has boosted the girls and we are looking forward to tomorrow’s clash. New Zealand are a strong team but we are confident of a better result,” she added.