Breda (The Netherlands), 23 July 2015: Post levelling the scores against Germany by 4-4, India U-21 Women Team went down struggling and lost to China by 2-4 in the Volvo Invitational U-21 (Women) Tournament 2015 held on 22nd July 2015 at Breda, The Netherlands.
The match began with Indian women possessing the ball and making swift attacks at the goalpost with an aim to take early lead in the game. In the 9th minute of the game, India’s Punam Barla struck a tremendous field goal to give her team a 1-0 lead. Making constant endeavours into the opponent’s inner circle, China’s Mang Yuan struck an equaliser in the 16thminute and levelled the scores at 1-1. With boosted spirit, China continued making efforts and it was Mengling Zhong who struck another field goal in the 20th minute taking the scores at 2-1, which remained till the half time.
The second half of the game began with much strength and poise as China continued to dominate India and tried desperately to score and edge past the other. In the 51st minute, China was awarded with a penalty corner which was efficiently converted by Zixia Ou. Indian eves bounced back into the game through Anupa Barla who without any mistakes converted the opportunity in the 66th minute taking the scores to 2-3. The last minute of the game proved to be fruitful for China as Mang Yuan surged ahead and smacked the fourth goal for her team in the 70th minute. With India unable to score any further goals in the game, the match concluded it favour of China who defeated India by 4-2.
India will meet New Zealand tomorrow and will be looking at winning the match against them. The team had last met the New Zealand team in the year 2014 in a 6 match series wherein both the teams drew three matches, New Zealand won 2 and India won one match.
Speaking on tomorrow’s crucial match, Chief Coach Mathias Ahrens said “We have to look ahead and aim to win our match against New Zealand tomorrow. The team will have to convert the penalty corners which will help them out the pressure on the opponents. Our defence even has to come out strong and ensure that we do not give away easy goals”.
The Volvo Invitational U-21 Tournament 2015 is being played at Breda, The Netherlands from 18-26 July 2015. India will now clash against New Zealand U-21 team on 24th July 2014 at 18:45 IST.