A day of mixed results unfolded for the Indian sub junior teams in their maiden international tour as the men secured an impressive 4-2 victory against the Netherlands U-16 team while the women faced a challenging 2-6 defeat.
In the men’s game, vice-captain Ashu Maurya gave India the lead as early as the first quarter, Netherlands came back to equalize the scoreline before halftime and eventually took a hard-fought lead. However, Deepak Pradhan tied the score for India and in the final minutes of the encounter, Ashu Maurya found the back of the net for the second time on the night, while Rahul Rajbhar also scored a late goal to complete a tremendous victory for India.
“This is a great victory for the squad, “ Indian sub junior men’s team coach Sardar said, he further added, “To come back from a deficit and secure a victory in the final few minutes of the games shows immense character, we should take great pride in this victory.”
In the women’s game, India was trailing Netherlands, 0-1, at half-time. While Kajal R continued her good form to score an equaliser for India in the third quarter, the Netherlands retorted with four consecutive goals before Captain Bhavya scored India’s second goal of the match in the final quarter. The Netherlands soon followed it up with another goal to ensure India would lose the match 2-6.
Former India captain and Indian sub junior women’s team coach Rani, said, “This might be another defeat for us, but we are looking to focus on the bigger picture which is the process of growth and development. Playing in foreign conditions is a challenging feat, especially for our Sub Junior Girls. Instead of dwelling on the loss, we are taking this opportunity to go back to the drawing board and identify areas of improvement.”
The Indian sub junior men’s team will next be in action against the Netherlands team on Monday, followed by the Indian sub junior women’s team taking on the Netherlands team
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