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.