Indian women suffer fourth consecutive defeat against NZ

Go down 3-0 in the fourth match of the five-match series on Friday.

Rachel McCann of New Zealand (left) scored one of the three goals in the fourth rubber on Friday.   -  Getty Images

India’s women’s team suffered its fourth straight defeat in its tour of New Zealand, going down 3-0 to the host in the penultimate contest of the five-match series, here.

India made a strong start with an improvised attack, attempting shots on goal, but the Black Sticks defence proved too strong to break for the visitor. The host found an opportunity in the 14th minute with a quick-thinking Rachael McCann who pumped the ball into the goal, clinching an early lead in the first quarter.

Following three successive victories, New Zealand dominated Friday’s game too. Tessa Jopp fetched the host its second goal in the 17th minute. New Zealand earned a penalty corner which was successfully converted by Jopp. Down by two goals, the Indian strikers made strong amends and tried different variations to find a goal but they failed to break the opposition defence.

In-form Rachael McCann struck her second goal of the match in the 26th minute to take New Zealand to a comfortable 3-0 lead at the end of halftime. The final two quarters saw Indian goalkeeper Rajani Etimarpu stay busy at the post, defending several attempts on goal by New Zealand. She made some impressive saves to disallow Black Sticks from extending its lead.

The Indian defence, too, stitched together a well-structured strategy to ensure a goalless third and fourth quarters. While India dominated the ball possession (57 per cent as opposed to New Zealand’s 43 per cent) in its previous game, New Zealand came up with new tactics to deny the visitor any such advantage on Friday.

The final quarter, too, saw the Indians make strong attempts on goal in their bid to make a comeback but New Zealand stayed in control to win the match.

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