Auckland: The Indian women's hockey team on Thursday went down fighting 1-2 to the hosts New Zealand in their opening match of the Four-Nation Tournament at the Harbour Hockey Stadium here.
The goal scorers for New Zealand were Anita Punt (3rd) and Katie Glynn (24th), while Anuradha Devi Thokchom sounded the board for India in the 40th minute.
In windy and cool conditions, New Zealand made the perfect start with striker Anita scoring the opening goal after a circle scramble in the 3rd minute.
India made a number of penetrating runs from forwards Rani Rampal, Vandana Katariya and Ritu Rani but found the Kiwi defenders rising to the occasion.
India played full press in the first half and earned four penalty corners but were unable to break New Zealand's clean sheet.
The Kiwis increased their lead in the 24th minute with the powerful Katie Glynn smashing the ball high into the goal past Indian goalkeeper Yogita Bali. Glynn had earlier executed an impressive drag-flick attempt from a penalty corner which was saved by Bali.
After the breather India attacked rigorously and were rewarded when Poonam Rani set up Anuradha Devi Thokchom who found the target in the 40th minute. India kept pushing for the equalizer but brilliant saves from New Zealand goalkeeper Bianca Russell enabled the home team to hold on to the 2-1 victory.
India will now play the US in their second match Friday. (IANS)