Marlow (England), 02 October 2019: The Indian Women's Hockey Team suffered their first defeat of their Tour to England as they lost the fourth match by a scoreline of 1-3. After having remained unbeaten in the first three matches of the Tour with a 2-1 win in the first match, and drawing the next two 1-1 and 0-0, the Indian Women's Team could not continue their unbeaten run. Great Britain took an early lead in the match through Hannah Martin (5'), but India's Neha Goyal (18') scored the equalized. However, a goal before half-time from Charlotte Watson (29'), and one in the last quarter through Giselle Ansley (50') meant that Great Britain secured their first win of the Tour.
It was a fast start by the hosts as they dominated possession in the early stages and won their first Penalty Corner in just the 3rd minute, but India's Goalkeeper Rajani Etimarpu produced a fine save to deny the hosts early on. However, the visitors could not deny the hosts on the second occasion as they took the lead through a field goal in the 5th minute. It was Great Britain's Hannah Martin who was at the end of a beautiful team move, and gave her team a much needed lead in the fourth match. World No. 9 India gradually came into the game, and had a few chances of their own in the latter stages of the first quarter, but were denied by Maddie Hinch during back-to-back Penalty Corners.
With the momentum on their side, the Indian team combined well at the start of the second quarter, and pressed for the equalizer, which eventually came in the 18th minute as Neha Goyal produced a slick finish to make it 1-1, and put the pressure back on the host nation. Four minutes later, Great Britain had another Penalty Corner, but were denied by the first rusher, while India also won themselves back-to-back PCs in the 24th minute, but could not get past their Goalkeeper Hinch. It was in the 29th minute at the stroke of half-time that Great Britain created a great chance through combination play by their Forwards, and managed to take a 2-1 lead into half-time as Charlotte Watson scored their second.
The third quarter saw a great battle between the two sides, as both of them tried to create chances. India were looking to equalize for the second time in the match, while the hosts wanted to extend their lead. Great Britain had a wonderful chance to make it 3-1 in the 40th minute as they won themselves a Penalty Corner, but could not beat India's Savita, who had replaced Etimarpu in the third quarter. Neither team could create any real opportunity in the third period, and were battling it out in midfield. The drying up of chances for both the teams meant that Great Britain maintained their 2-1 advantage at the break with 15 minutes to play.
The Indian team tried to attack their opponents more in the last quarter, as they looked for the equalizer, meaning they had more players up the field. The tactic meant that the hosts looked to counter their opposition on the break of possession, and were actually successful in doing so in the 50th minute when the Indian defence had to concede a Penalty Stroke after an obstruction inside the striking circle. The resulting execution from the spot was taken and converted by Giselle Ansley, who made it 3-1 in the hosts' favour. India had a few chances in the last 10 minutes to make a comeback, but could not produce that cutting-edge pass in the final third to score again in the match, as the hosts ran away with a 3-1 win in the third match.
The Indian Women's Hockey Team will play Great Britain in their fifth and final match of the Tour on Friday, 4th October 2019 at 1400hrs IST.