Indians survive scare, tie with USA 1-1 to reach quarter-finals of the Women’s Hockey World Cup
The Indian Women’s Hockey team has surely had a nerve-wracking Women’s Hockey World Cup, as they’ve just managed to sneak through to the quarter finals by tying with USA 1-1. After tying with England 1-1 in their opening match and losing out to Ireland 0-1, the Indian eves needed a win or at least a tie to proceed to the knockout stages, and skipper Rani Rampal’s strike just after half-time has enabled their progress.
India kicked off the match on a hopeful note, but after just three minutes of playtime got a scare that threatened to derail its entire World Cup campaign. Captain Rani Rampal twisted her left ankle, and was walked off the field in visible pain. Taking advantage of this setback, US forward Margaux Paolino scored a blinder in the 11th minute, adding to India’s woes. Fortunately though, the injury sustained by the skipper was not serious, and she managed to return to the match later on in the first quarter.
Determined to make up for lost time, the Indians kept earning penalty corners, and after missing four of them they finally scored the fifth one, courtesy of none other than resurgent skipper Rani Rampal.
After this equalizer, the Indian attack stepped up their game and created multiple chances to score, but all in vain. The Indians earned two more penalty corners but failed to score, and in the last quarter of the match, forward Navjot attempted a reverse shot at the goal but US goalkeeper Briggs deftly blocked it.
In the last ten minutes, it was the US who took the front foot and sought to create some last minute chances to score, but India’s defense acted as a solid wall, impenetrable by the American strikers.
India will now face World no. 17 Italy in their Women’s Hockey World Cup quarter final match, which should be an easy campaign for them after a tough pool stage.