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India eves beat Azerbaijan 3-0 in 1st hockey Test

Source: PTI
January 15, 2012 20:38 IST

The Indian woman's team's preparation for next month's Olympic qualifiers kicked off in style as they defeated Azerbaijan 3-0 in the first hockey Test at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, in New Delhi on Sunday.

The hosts, ranked 13th in the world, were by far the dominant side on display and scored through Anuradha Devi (19th minute), Soundarya (51st) and Joydeep Kaur (62nd) to take a 1-0 lead in the four-match series.

The Indians created most of their opportunities from the left-flank with Soundarya and Jasjeet Kaur combining well.

The 15th ranked Azerbaijan, on the other hand, lacked purpose in their attacks, which were far and few.

As expected, it was the home team which scored first when an unmarked Anuradha tapped in Soundarya's measured pass from the right flank.

The Indians then stepped up the pressure on the Azerbaijan defence which resulted in two penalty corners (22nd minute and 34th) in the first period, but they squandered both to go into the breather with a 1-0 cushion.

The scenario was no different after the change of ends as it was the home which controlled the possession.

India's penalty corner conversion also improved in the second half as they utilised both their set pieces.

India earned their third short corner in the 50th minute and Soundarya made no mistake in deflecting home captain Asunta Lakra's hit.

Joydeep then finished off the scoreline for the home team when she converted India's fourth and final penalty corner, eight minutes from the hooter with a fierce shot to which Azerbaijan goalkeeper Viktoriya had no answer.

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