Friday, August 1, 2014

Indian hockey eves pip Scotland 2-1 to finish 5th

This piece was published in Sportskeeda
The Indian women’s hockey team settled for the fifth spot after they put it across hosts Scotland by the odd goal in three at the National Hockey Center in Glasgow. It was the Scottish eves, who seized the initiative from the starting hooter, forcing a penalty corner in the 3rd minute, but Indian goalkeeper Savita foiled that attempt.

India moved forward, but failed to breach the rival citadel. Scotland wasted another penalty corner in the 22nd minute and the stalemate was not broken as both teams went into half-time goalless.

The first quarter of the second half also did fetch any goals, but Anupa Barla broke the logjam, giving India the lead in the 54th minute. Scotland took just two minutes to equalize when Nikki Kidd fired home a short corner.

India were no way going to see tense moments in the closing stages as Poonam Rani again pulled her side ahead in the 59th minute, which turned out to be the match-clincher. Egged on by the home crowd, Scotland went for broke, but India held firm to win 2-1 to finish fifth – a position they attained in the 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games.

Interestingly, this was India’s first win over Scotland in Commonwealth Games – they had earlier drawn 2-2 and 1-1 in the 1998 and 2010 editions. The Ritu Rani-led side earlier lost to South Africa to bow out of the semifinal race. Indian eves had earlier beaten Canada 4-2, lost to New Zealand 0-3 and smashed Trinidad & Tobago 14-0.

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