Harpal Singh Bedi
New Delhi: Riding on captain Savita’s heroics in the shootout, India piped lowly Canada to record their first win at the Women’s Hockey World Cup at Terrassa (Spain) to progress to the 9-12th placings of the tournament. .
India defeated Canada 3-2 in the sudden death which was necessitated as the teams were levelled 1-1 at the end of regulation period.
India will take on Japan in the 9th-12th placing match.
Madeline Secco (11′) scored for Canada, while Salima Tete (58′) drew parity for India.
In the shootout Savita, was outstanding as she made six saves. while Navneet Kaur, Sonika and Neha converted their chances to help India register their first win in the competition.
In the fast-paced game, though India dominated, retaining most of the ball possession, but could not breach the rival defence .
Canada, on the other hand, took some time to settle down and started to put pressure on India. Their first incisive tack came in the 10th minute when they earned the first Penalty Corner of the match, but missed out on converting it. In just the next minute, they went on to break the deadlock through Madeline Secco, who managed to find the back of the net (1-0) after a mistimed PC attempt.
Trailing by a goal, India started the second quarter aggressively and penetrated the rival defence on a number of occasions in the second quarter. In the 25th minute when Vandana and Navneet combined together to take a shot on goal. But Canadian Rowan Harris averted the danger.
Putting pressure on their opponents, India went on to create various goal scoring opportunities in the closing stage of the first half, but could not the Canadian defence unit.
India continued to play aggressively in the third quarter and were presented with a glorious opportunity to draw parity in the opening minutes of the second half. It was Navjot Kaur who was in an ideal position to shoot at goal, but her attempt went over the bar.
Minutes later, Canada earned another Penalty Corner but Savita made a brilliant save.
India went on two earn back-to-back Penalty Corners missed out on converting their chances.
In the last minute, India again missed out on a golden opportunity to score as Lalremsiami’s diving attempt off Salima Tete’s pass from the right flank missed the target.
Desperately looking for an equaliser, India showed urgency to convert a goal in the final quarter. After a number of missed PC attempts, Hey finally scored an equaliser in the 58th minute through Salima Tete who found the back of the net through a perfectly executed PC variation.(1-!)
Canada earned the PC right away but missed out on converting it,