Hockey: India women beat New Zealand 3-0 to finish tour on a high

In the last game of its five-match tour, the Indian women's hockey team beat New Zealand 3-0 with Navneet Kaur scoring a brace and Sharmila scoring a field goal in the 54th minute.

India women's hockey team

File photo: Navneet Kaur's brace led India women to a 3-0 win over New Zealand in its final match of the tour.   -  AFP

Striker Navneet Kaur scored a brace to guide the Indian women’s hockey team to a convincing 3-0 win over New Zealand in the last game of its five-match tour here on Wednesday.

Navneet found the net in the 45th and 58th minutes, while Sharmila scored a field goal in the 54th minute as India drew curtains on the New Zealand tour on a bright note.

After a goalless opening two quarters, Navneet finally broke the deadlock for India in the 45th minute.

Sharmila then doubled the lead when she struck a powerful shot past the New Zealand goalkeeper in the 54th minute. Navneet found the net again just two minutes from the final hooter with a beautiful field strike.

India began the tour by thrashing New Zealand Development squad 4-0 before suffering close 1-2 and 0-1 defeats to the home senior team.

In penultimate game of the tour, skipper Rani’s lone strike handed India a 1-0 win over Great Britain.

”...I am happy we produced three goals against New Zealand in the last match. This tour gave us a good insight about where we need to improve and one of the things is to create faster play than we do now,” said India’s chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne.

Commenting on his side’s performance during the tour, Marijne said, “Sometimes we tend to keep the ball too long on the stick and then we create pressure. We need to avoid that by passing faster.

“On the defence side, we need to be a bit more calmer and need to improve our tackling. We will have a four week camp after a short break when we return home and we will be working on these points.”

The Indian team will return home on February 7.

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