Fri, 02 Jun 2023

Adelaide [Australia], May 24 (ANI): Indian women's hockey team vice-captain Deep Grace Ekka believes that a strong defence line will be critical to the team's chances of winning the final two matches of their tour of Australia as well as putting up a strong performance in the upcoming big tournaments like the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022.

After playing three matches against Australia, the Indian team is gearing up to take on Australia 'A' in their last two games of the tour.

The Indian team has played three games against Australia, losing 2-4 and 2-3 in the first two games respectively, and coming from behind in the third game to ensure a 1-1 tie. In their final two games of the tour, the visitors will face Australia 'A'.

The Indian team demonstrated brilliant attacking prowess in all three games, but they struggled to keep Australia from scoring goals.

"Given that we played against a strong team like Australia, we produced a good show in the first three games, especially attacking-wise, but we conceded quite a few goals, which shouldn't be happening. Hence, we are focusing on improving our defending in the next two games and ending our tour on a high by winning the remaining matches," Deep Grace Ekka, the team's experienced defender was quoted as saying by Hockey India.

"Also, if we ensure that we don't concede goals easily, it will help our forward line put pressure on opponents by attacking freely, which will ultimately increase our chances of winning games not only in this tour but also in our upcoming tournaments," added the 28-year-old, who recently achieved a special milestone of completing 250 International Caps.

Ekka also aided India's comeback in the third game, converting a penalty corner to tie the game after Australia took the lead.

Sharing her thoughts on scoring the equaliser, Ekka said, "It felt great to score that goal as it came at a crucial time and also helped the team make a comeback in the game. We started the match on a solid note and even kept most of the possession in the opening quarter to control the tempo of the match. However, we conceded a goal in the second quarter which put us on the backfoot, following which we were desperate to display our fighting spirit and find the equaliser. So, in that sense, I feel lucky to deliver it for my team when they need it the most." (ANI)

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