New Zealand women’s hockey team on Sunday defeated India 4-1 in first of the five-match series which began here at the Rosa Birch Park in Pukekohe.
Both teams were quick to get off the blocks with the hosts building pressure on Indian women with an attacking game.
However, the Indian women, led by Rani lived up to the challenge, not allowing easy opportunities to the Black Sticks.
But a resilient New Zealand found their first breakthrough in the 13th minute when Jordan Grant converted a field goal to end the first quarter with a 1-0 lead.
Olivia Merry scored a 23rd minute goal to put further pressure on India. Though New Zealand dominated the first two quarters, the 10-minute break during half-time helped the Indian eves recover from a 0-2 deficit with chief coach Sjoerd Marijne bringing in vital strategic changes.
Anupa Barla (31’) converted a field goal only 40 seconds into the third quarter and narrow the goal difference to 1-2. The Indian forwards led by the experienced Vandana Katariya vied to equalize, they could not find success.
Meanwhile, Rachael McCann scored New Zealand’s third goal in the 43rd minute to end the third quarter at 3-1.
A defensive error in the circle by India caused them dearly with New Zealand’s Deanna Ritchie scoring the fourth goal for her team in the 55th minute.
Though India made several attempts to come-back into the game, trying to create space, New Zealand’s defence proved too strong to break, thus ending the match with a 4-1 on the score board.
The two teams will play the second match on May 16.