India thrash Belarus in women's hockey

Indo Asian News Service

Bhopal, March 2 (IANS) The Indian women's hockey team produced a dominant performance to defeat Belarus 5-1 here on Thursday.

Navjot Kaur (11th, 15th minutes) Punam Barla (29th), Deep Grace Ekka (57th) and Gurjit Kaur (60th) scored for India while Sviatlana Bahushevich got a consolation goal for Belarus in the 37th minute.

Playing their first match since the Women's Asian Champions Trophy triumph last year, India quickly stamped their domination on the proceedings by opening up a 2-0 lead in the early stages.

Navjot Kaur drew first blood by converting a penalty corner and followed it up by scoring a sensational field goal a short while later as the hosts ended the first quarter with a 2-0 lead.

Though Belarus did well to keep the Indian forwards at bay in the second quarter, the hosts managed increase their lead just before half-time when Punam Barla came up with good stick work to beat the defenders in the striking circle.

Sviatlana Bahushevich reduced the deficit for Belarus in the third quarter. But the Indian women came back stronger in the final quarter with Ekka and Gurjit Kaur smashing home from penalty corners to round off a superb performance.

--IANS

ajb/dg