Hockey: India (W) lose opening game of Australia tour

David Mariuz/ Hockey Australia

The Indian women's hockey team went down 2-4 against Australia in their opening match of the tour on Thursday in Adelaide.

Sangita Kumari (29') and Sharmila Devi (40') scored a goal each for India while Australia found the back of the net through Aisling Utri (21'), Maddy Fitzpatrick (27'), Alice Arnott (32'), and Courtney Schonell (35').

Australia got into their passing rhythm quickly and dominated India in the first quarter by keeping most of the possession and testing the visitors' defence numerous times. The hosts also won three penalty corners in the opening quarter of the game but failed to capitalise on it as goalkeeper Savita and the defence line stood strong.

However, in the second quarter, Australia netted two goals courtesy of their high tempo and attacking game. Aisling Utri (21') scored a field goal after Courtney Schonell and Abigail Wilson combined well before the latter put in a cross across the goal for Utri. Moments later, Maddy Fitzpatrick (27') doubled the lead for the hosts as she converted a penalty corner.

India started playing aggressively after conceding the second goal and it paid off as Sangita Kumari (29') found the back of the net. Nikki Pradhan's shot from distance took a deflection off Fitzpatrick and Sangita found herself at perfect position to put the ball beyond Australia's goalkeeper Jocelyn Bartram. The hosts went into the half-time break with the 2-1 lead.

The third quarter of the match started with Australia scoring a quick goal through Alice Arnott (32'), while Courtney Schonell (35') netted the fourth goal for the hosts.

India didn't take much time to respond as forward Sharmila Devi (40') converted a penalty corner as the third quarter came to a close 4-2 in favour of Australia. The fourth and last quarter of the match ended goal-less even though both the teams came close to scoring a few times.

The next match between the two will be on Saturday.

India tour of Australia Schedule

May 18, Thursday: India vs Australia at 14:45 IST

May 20, Saturday: India vs Australia at 14:45 IST

May 21, Sunday: India vs Australia at 14:15 IST

May 25, Thursday: India vs Australia A at 14:45 IST

May 27, Saturday: India vs Australia A at 14:45 IST