The Indian women’s hockey team made heavy weather of their early dominance before eventually weathering the Canadian resistance to snuff out a 4-2 win to sneak into the semifinals of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Indian eves did the most important thing of wresting the initiative when Salima Tete drew first blood as early as the third minute of play off a Gurjit Kaur penalty corner routine.
The Janneke Schopman-coached Indian outfit appeared to take the game away from Canada against whom they had to fight tooth and nail before winning in a shootout in the recent World Cup in the classification stage. Canada’s riposte was swift – they reduced the deficit a minute later when STAIRS Brienne Stairs deflected home an Alexis de Armond short corner.
The tension in the Indian camp escalated when Hannah Haughn slotted home darting in from the baseline after drag-flicker Karli Johansen sold a dummy in the closing stages of the third quarter with everything to play for in the final quarter. India went for broke in the final quarter and was denied a goal when Neha Goyal tapped in off a Salima Tete baseline pass. But the disallowed goal did not pinch the Indians much as Lalremsiami found the target off a goalmouth melee off a PC routine. India did well to run down the clock, holding the ball for the most part to secure their semifinal spot, where they would run into Pool B toppers Australia – it will be a repeat of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics quarterfinal where the Blueshirts shocked the Hockeyroos by a solitary goal.