The Indian junior women’s hockey team ended its tour of South Africa undefeated with a 4-0 win over the ‘A’ side of the host country. Deepika Sr. broke the deadlock in the 13th minute by converting from the spot after South Africa conceded a penalty stroke.
A few minutes later, Neelam (15th minute) doubled India’s lead by converting a penalty corner. Annu (35th) and Sunlita Toppo (50th) scored in the second half to seal the victory late Saturday night.
The South Africa tour was a part of the team’s preparations for the U-21 Asia Cup, which serves as a qualifier for the upcoming FIH Junior Women’s World Cup.
The Indian team had earlier defeated the South African U-21 team in all three games. The visitors were held to a 4-4 draw by South African ‘A’ team in their last match on Friday.
The ongoing South Africa Tour is part of the team’s preparations for the crucial Asia Cup U21, which serves as a qualifier for the upcoming FIH Women’s Hockey Junior World Cup.
Earlier in the first match on Friday, South Africa began taking an early lead against the Indians with Quanita Bobbs (1′, 31′) and Biamca Wood (6′) scoring in quick succession.
However, quick responses from Neelam (7′) and Deepika Sr. (8′, 30+’) restored parity before Taranpreet Kaur (25′) and Deepika scored to put the Indian junior women’s hockey team in a commanding position. The lead was squandered in the second half with South Africa scoring through Quanita Bobbs and Tarryn Lombard (47′), and the game ended in a draw.