Indian women beat Ireland, Navjot Kaur completes 150 caps

Sakal Times
Monday, 4 February 2019

I wish Navjot the very best for future matches, especially in India’s attempt to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. She is an inspiration for young, budding players. — Rajinder Singh, (Secretary General, Hockey India)

MURCIA: After a 1-1 draw in their previous match, a determined Indian Women’s Hockey Team notched up a sensational 3-0 victory against 2018 Women’s World Cup Silver Medalists Ireland in their last match of Spain Tour here on Sunday.

India’s attacking prowess stretched the Irish defenders right from the start as the forward line made potential forays into the striking circle. India’s Navjot Kaur found the first breakthrough for India when she converted a splendid field goal in the 13th minute to help India take a 1-0 lead.

An Indian infringement in the second quarter saw Ireland being awarded a PC but was well-saved by India’s defence. In the 26th minute, a timely assist by the experienced Deep Grace Ekka helped Reena Khokar double India’s lead to 2-0 ahead of the 10-minute half-time break.

India continued to keep up a discipline structure but in the melee gave away a PC to Ireland only minutes into the third quarter. But India’s strong defence kept an Irish goal at bay. The final quarter saw India set up a powerful attack that fetched them a PC which was well-converted by Gurjit Kaur who was the highest goal scorer for India in this Tour.

“I am proud of the team because playing six matches in nine days can be very difficult and the last two matches we have played without our Skipper Rani who has a shoulder strain. Today we were particularly good as we controlled the whole match and had them in our circle only six times. We have played good structure, with good disciplined hockey. One of the things we have improved in this tour is personal leadership and taking responsibility. I am not only seeing the score, it’s good to win 3-0 but I am happy with individual performances,” expressed an elated Sjoerd Marijne, Chief Coach Indian Women’s Hockey Team.

Indian women’s hockey team midfielder Navjot Kaur completed the milestone of playing 150 international matches during her side’s match against Ireland during India’s Tour of Spain here on Sunday.

Kaur made her international debut in 2012 in a series against New Zealand in Napier after showcasing her talent in the Junior Tournaments such as the Junior Asia Cup and International U-21 tournament in the Netherlands where India had finished third.

Born in Kurukshetra, Kaur has climbed the ranks in the National Team with significant performances. She was part of the team that excelled at the Hockey World League Semi-Finals 2015 taking India to the doorsteps of the 2016 Rio Olympics.

She also featured in the 17th Asian Games, 2016 Rio Olympics, 4th Women’s Asian Champions Trophy and was also part of India’s Silver Medal feat at the 2018 Asian Games and has been a regular member of the India team that has climbed the world ranking to No.9.

Rajinder Singh, Secretary General, Hockey India, congratulated Navjot Kaur on her 150th international appearance. “Navjot has shown India that her experience is vital for the team, time and again with her improved performances over the years. I congratulate her on completing her 150 international matches for India today,” he said.

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