Kakamigahara [Japan], June 5 (ANI): The Indian junior women's hockey team came from behind to defeat Malaysia 2-1 in their second game of the Women's Junior Asia Cup 2023 in Kakamigahara, Gifu Prefecture, Japan on Monday.
After Dian Nazeri (6') scored a goal for Malaysia, Mumtaz Khan (10') and Deepika (26') netted a goal each to help India win the game and remain on top of Pool A.
While Malaysia focused on keeping possession, India were on the attack from the get-go and that helped them win a couple of penalty corners early in the game but they couldn't capitalise on them.
Malaysia switched to counter-attacking a few minutes into the game, and it paid off immediately as Dian Nazeri (6'), who was standing unmarked in the D, scored a field goal to give her team the lead. However, a few minutes later, India bounced back in the game as Mumtaz Khan (10') scored an equaliser through a penalty corner as the opening quarter ended with the score tied at 1-1.
Desperate to take a lead, India came out all guns blazing in the second quarter and the plan worked as Deepika (26') won a penalty stroke and easily converted it to put her team in front. Notably, the Indian team kept on attacking in their bid to extend the lead but the second quarter didn't see any more goals as India went into the half-time break with a 2-1 lead.
The third quarter started in the same fashion as the second as India continued to dominate the game by keeping the ball possession and troubling Malaysia's defense rigorously. However, neither India, nor Malaysia were able to find the back of the net in the third quarter, and it ended goalless with India holding a 2-1 lead.
Keen to maintain their advantage, India focused on keeping ball possession in the fourth quarter, while Malaysia upped their game in order to find the equaliser. However, Indian players started playing a bit more aggressively to make sure that Malaysia spent most of their time in defence rather than attacking and the strategy paid dividends as the thrilling match ended 2-1 in favour of India.
The Indian Junior Women's Hockey Team will next play against Korea in their third Pool A game on Tuesday. (ANI)