India’s U-18 women’s hockey team continued their fine form in the 2018 Youth Olympic Games with a win over Uruguay. Indians defeated the South Americans by a close margin of 2-1 in the second Hockey 5s match in Buenos Aires on Monday.
It was striker Lalremsiami who put up the man-of-the-match performances for the women in blue. She was on target twice, scoring in 1st and 19th minutes. Uruguay fell short off the mark, as they scored only one goal. The sole strike came through Magdalena Verga. It was sandwiched between Lalremsiami’s two goals and came in the 10th minute.
A brilliant start
India started the match in a very dominating fashion. Quite naturally so, as they had won the previous match with a 4-2 win over Austria. Their first goal came through an in-form Lalremsiami, who has been impressive throughout the Youth Olympic Games. She was on twice on target against Austria as well, scoring in the 4th and 17th minutes.
Thereafter, India sustained their pressure in the first period and almost scored a second goal in the 9th minute. Mumtaz Khan (who also scored in the last match) saw a goal being disallowed in the after the umpire blew the whistle for a foul. That would have virtually closed the match.
But contrastingly, the match opened up after Uruguay found possession of the ball in the last minute of the first period and scored the equalizer at the stroke of half-time through Magdalena Verga in the 10th minute.
Uruguay’s goalkeeper Victoria Bate produced an inspiring performance for the South Americans. She made 13 saves in the match out of India’s total 15 shots on target, much to the dismay of the women in blue.
Nevertheless, an interesting second half beckoned India.
The second half was again dominated by Indian women’s hockey team, pressing at every possible instance. They were more desperate of the two for a winner. In fact, at the end of the match, they had 25 shots on the target, showing their dominance in the match.
However, Uruguay’s defense gave way in the dying moments of the match, when in 19th minutes, Lalremsiami showed some poaching instincts. She popped up in front of the goal and buried the ball past Bate with a sublime strike. That was the last shot of the match, with India sealing the deal with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over their spirited opponents. The win comes as another good news for the country. India is currently placed at the eighth in the medals tally.
The team will now face Vanuatu on Wednesday.