Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fighting Indian hockey eves lose 2-3 to South Africa, bow out of semifinals

This piece was published in Sportskeeda

The Indian women hockey team’s hopes of qualifying for the semifinals went up in smoke when they went down fighting to South Africa 2-3 at the National Hockey Center in Glasgow. The 13th ranked Indian eves, desperately needing a win to be in the semifinal race were put on the backfoot when the 11th ranked South Africans took the lead with a penalty corner goal from Tarryn Bright in the 14th minute.

The Indian defence foiled South Africa’s second PC opportunity in the 28th minute before the Ritu Rani-led side gave themselves a glimmer of hope when Jaspreet Kaur converted a penalty stroke. But the South Africa pulled ahead close to half-time through Dirkie Chamberlain to enjoy the psychological advantage. Goalkeeper Savita was in great form as she kept thwarting the South African raids on a regular basis.

India needed a robust finish in the second half, but South Africa held firm, and seemed to have put the issue beyond their opponents when Illse Davids made the scoreline 3-1 in the 55th minute.

India were in no mood to throw in the towel as Rani Rampal reduced the deficit making the most of a penalty corner to throw the contest wide open. India wasted two short corner opportunities in the final ten minutes in a bid to level the issue as the South Africa defence came under pressure. But those misses proved to be their undoing for India as they failed to make the semifinals.

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