Marlow: The Indian women's hockey team were held to a 2-2 draw by Great Britain in their last match of the Tour of England held here on Friday. The World No. 9 team ended the tour with another draw against a relatively stronger Great Britain side, performing exceptionally during the five matches as they won one, drew three and lost one match.
The last match saw Navjot Kaur give India an early lead, and Gurjit Kaur convert a Penalty Corner to give India a two-goal lead, before Great Britain's Elizabeth Neal (55') and Anna Toman (60') scored twice in the last few minutes to earn themselves a draw.
After having lost for the first time during the tour in their previous match, the Indian team started the match on an attacking note, and pushed the hosts back into their own half, creating a host of opportunities inside the opening 10 minutes.
The constant pressure on Great Britain's defence meant that India managed to find the breakthrough in the 8th minute as forward Navjot Kaur slotted past their Goalkeeper Sabbie Heesh to make it 1-0. The first quarter belonged to India as they had a couple of more chances to extend their lead, but could not convert the Penalty Corners, keeping their one-goal advantage at the first break.
However, the second quarter saw a tussle between the two sides, which was dominated by Great Britain who earned themselves as many as three Penalty Corners before the half-time break. But Indian Goalkeeper Savita, who was playing her 200th match for the country, made impressive saves to deny the hosts any chance of finding the equalizer. India tried to counter the hosts during the latter stages of the second period, but could only take a 1-0 lead into the half-time break.
Both the teams had similar chances in the third quarter, but it was India who dominated the possession. But some resolute defending by the experienced British defence meant that the Indians were denied on multiple occasions. Amy Tennant, who had replaced Heesh at half-time, was called into action by Gurjit Kaur in the 40th minute, but produced a fine save to deny the visitors. It was only in the 48th minute of the match that India finally managed to extend their lead as Gurjit Kaur found the back of the net from a Penalty Corner conversion. It was a crucial goal for India at the start of the fourth quarter, but it also galvanised the Great Britain team into putting India under pressure.
With less than six minutes to go on the clock, Great Britain were awarded another Penalty Corner, and this time it was Elizabeth Neal who converted from the spot to pull a goal back in the 55th minute. It was a nervous last five minutes for the Indian team, and after having kept out the hosts on multiple occasions, the Indian defence was finally caught off guard in added time. Great Britain were awarded a Penalty Corner, and it was Anna Toman who converted to earn her team a 2-2 draw.