Santiago (Chile), January 18
Striker Beauty Dungdung scored a hat-trick as the Indian junior women’s hockey team thrashed its Chilean counterparts 5-3 in a high-scoring match to make a successful return to competition following a year-long break due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The striker from Jharkhand scored in the 29th, 38th and 52nd minutes, while Lalrindiki (14th) and Sangita Kumari (30th) also registered their names on the scoresheet for India.
Chile’s goals were scored by Simone Avelli (10th), Paula Sanz (25th) and Fernanda Arrieta (49th).
The match started with the Chile junior team retaining most of the possession, and scoring in the 10th minute as Avelli was on the end of a perfect pass to score the hosts’ opening goal.
However, India struck back just four minutes later as forward Lalrindiki found herself in the right spot at the right time to score the equalizer in the 14th minute.
The hosts were then presented with a glorious opportunity to restore their advantage as they were awarded a Penalty Corner in the 25th minute.
It was Sanz who stepped up to execute it, and was successful in doing so, thereby giving Chile a 2-1 lead.
Despite the setback, India continued to fight back, and dominated proceedings in the latter stages of the second quarter, and scored twice in two minutes to turn the game around.
First, it was Dungdung in the 29th minute who finished off a beautiful team move to make it 2-2, and then Sangita saw her shot hit the back of the goalposts, which made it 3-2 in India’s favour.
The visitors then took control of the match in the last two quarters, keeping possession, and initiating swift attacking moves to build pressure on their opponents.
The pressure did finally pay off in the 38th minute as Dungdung added a second to her name, and India’s fourth goal.
However, Chile made use of a Penalty Corner in the 49th minute to pull a goal back through Arrieta, and make for a nervy finish to the game.
But India’s young guns did not leave any room for a Chilean comeback, as they added a fifth goal to their tally in the 52nd minute through Dungdung, who completed a superb hat-trick of goals. PTI