The Indian women’s hockey team lost 1-2 to China in the opening match of the Hawke&’s Bay Cup at the Hastings Sports Park here on Saturday.

While Anuradha Thokochom scored for India in the 31st minute, Mengyu Wang (34th) and Qian Yu (38th) gave China the victory in the eight-nation tournament.

Both the teams in their bid not to allow easy goals ensured a strong defence, resulting in the first two quarters being goalless.

Real action was witnessed in the third quarter when India finally opened their account one minute into the third quarter.

Immediately into the second half, India broke the shackles and scored as Anuradha slammed the ball past the New Zealand goalkeeper.

China came roaring back to contention and equalised in the 34th minute when they earned a penalty corner that was converted by Mengyu. 

Stung by the equaliser, India counter attacked immediately. But China struck again in the 38th minute as Qian scored a field goal. 

The rest of the session saw India attacking and trying to look for the equaliser but failed to do so.

Centre-half Ritu Rani-led India attacked in the last quarter, maintaining a good ball possession but were unable to equalise and lost the game 1-2.

In the next match on Sunday, India will take on the United States.