India defeated Azerbaijan 3-0 to record its third consecutive win in the four-match women's hockey Test series at the National Stadium here on Wednesday.

In the third Test, dominated by lacklustre action, the home team scored through Sushila Chanu (3rd minute), Anuradha Devi (32nd) and Ritu Rani (67th) to claim the series without much toil.

Azerbaijan's poor defence helped India take an early lead. Sushila's cross from the right found Lyudmila Chegurko's stick, before entering the touring side's post.

Azerbaijan's search for the equaliser resulted in several decent moves. However, the visiting forward line, led by Gyeonga Kim, Taejeong Han and Myungsoon Mammadova, failed to convert these chances. The European outfit could not even capitalise on the five penalty corners that came its way.

Subhadra, Mukta shine

Ace defender Subhadra Pradhan impressed with some fine tackling and clearance. Mukta Barla also contributed in keeping the Indian post safe.

Anuradha struck home off a rebound, from Vandana Kataria's reverse hit, to make it 2-0 at half-time.

Saba Anjum and Ritu combined well on the left to threaten the Azerbaijan defenders. However, Saba shot wide on one of the best attempts from the Indian side in the second period.

Ritu completed the tally with an excellent field goal. Her hit from the top of the circle disturbed the net in the final minutes of the match.

The home players faltered in the basics like passing and stopping. Besides, they frittered away five penalty corners.

“The positive side (of the performance) was that we succeeded in scoring field goals. But, we lacked in penalty corner conversion. When you focus on one thing, the other aspect gets neglected,” said Indian coach C.R. Kumar.

The result: India 3 (Sushila Chanu, Anuradha Devi, Ritu Rani) bt Azerbaijan 0.

Keywords: Indian hockey

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