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Four-nation hockey: Indian eves bag bronze; Argentina champs

Source: PTI
Last updated on: December 19, 2011 17:22 IST

The Indian women's hockey team notched a facile 4-1 win over Ireland to clinch the bronze medal in the four-nation Tournament held in Parana, Argentina.

The teams were locked 1-1 at half-time, but India came back strongly in the second session to fire in three goals.

India's goal-scorers were Jaspreet Kaur (penalty-corner 7th minute), Anuradha Thokchom (58th min), Vandana Katariya (68th min) and Ritu Rani (penalty corner 70th min), while Aine Connery (7th min) sounded the board for Ireland.

Ireland took an early lead in the seventh minute through Connery following a defensive lapse by the Indians.

India restored parity when Jaspreet Kaur found the target from a penalty-corner in the 26th minute after an Irish defender obstructed Vandana Katariya in the striking circle.

India dominated the proceedings in the second half and exhibited flair as they mounted attacks with regular monotony.

The Indian forwards -- Poonam Rani, Vandana Katariya, Rani and Anuradha Thokchom -- were well-supported by midfielders Asunta Lakra, Kirandeep Kaur and Ritu Rani as they engineered forays in the rival half.

Goalkeeper Yogita Bali and deep defenders Pinky Thokchom, Jaspreet Kaur and Preety Sunila Kiro stood tall and thwarted all moves by the Irish attackers.

Anuradha Thokchom put India ahead in the 58th minute when she beat Ireland custodian Emma Gray with a deflection from a right flank cross.

Vandana Katariya increase the lead to 3-1 in the 68th minute, finding the mark after a Ritu Rani-Asunta Lakra combined midfield manoeuvre.

India rounded off the tally at the stroke of full-time with Preety Sunila Kiro scoring from a penalty-corner variation.

India also won both the bronze medal at four-nation tournaments in Buenos Aires earlier on the tour.

The team will return from Argentina on Wednesday.

In the final, World champions Argentina beat South Africa 2-0 to win the tournament.

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