The Indian Women’s Hockey Team struck a late goal through youngster Lalremsiami to win the match 1-0 against hosts Malaysia and also register an unassailable lead in the on-going five-match Bi-lateral Series .
India won the first two matches 3-0 and 5-0 followed by a 4-4 draw in their previous match. In their fourth match today, Lalremsiami’s sensational 55th minute goal ensured the team secured a narrow win in a well-fought contest that saw Malaysia give their all to put up a defensive game.
Though it was Malaysia who made a strong start with an early PC in the first minute of the game, a very alert India goalkeeper Savita made a good save. India too earned a PC in the following minute but did not succeed. With India’s ace dragflicker Gurjit Kaur missing the tour due to an injury, India struggled to convert PCs, having lost out on five penalty corner opportunities in today’s match.
But the team did well to sustain pressure with tight marking inside the circle giving Malaysia no real chance to take a shot on goal. Having missed out on PCs, India looked for a potential opportunity as minutes ticked raced away in the final quarter. It was Navneet Kaur who set up a splendid goal for Lalremsiami who made a diving effort to help India win. “We played very good third and fourth quarter where we created good scoring opportunities. This is something we want to execute much better tomorrow and especially improve our on-field decision making,” expressed Sjoerd Marijne, Chief Coach Indian Women’s Hockey Team after the victory.
Speaking about leading 3-0 in the Series, Marijne said, “Winning is fine but what’s more important for me if that we play good, structured hockey. If we tick the right boxes, winning will eventually happen and I would like to see us end the last match tomorrow on the same lines as we played the third and fourth quarters today– fewer mistakes and good energy,”