Hockey Perspectives

Spunky Indian Eves Push Australia Hard Before Capitulating in Shootout; Play New Zealand for Bronze

The Indian hockey eves can take pride in their Commonwealth Games semifinal defeat to formidable Australia in the shootout at Birmingham. An early Australian goal via Greiner Rebecca off a Mariah Williams baseline pass that saw the goal-scorer outsmart her Udita before breaching the defences of Savita, did push the Indian women to the walls. The Blueskirts steadily picked themselves up in the second quarter and controlled the midfield and did not allow the Hockeyroos to dominate proceedings. Monica Malik, Neha Goyal and Sushila Chanu played their hearts out and did not make it easy for their opposition. Monica kept India in the contest with two brave goalline saves off short corners. Indians were cagey about throwing more players in front for they are aware of the counter-attack threats from Australia. At times, the Indian ball carriers were starved of passing options and outnumbered by Australia.

Read All You Want to Know About Men’s Commonwealth Games Hockey

Trailing by a solitary goal at half-time, Indian eves summoned desperate measure and moved forward in numbers but the crowded Aussie defence nullified their efforts. It neededthe experienced duo of Sushila Chanu and Vandana Katariya to bring their wealth of experience into play – Sushila unleashed a sublime down-the-centre slap pass off a free hit and an ever-alert Vandana deflected even as the Hockeyroos defence and their goalkeeper Aleisha Power were caught napping. The Indian goal coming with just over ten minutes remaining for the final hooter seemed to shake up the Australians. Indian strived to make the most of their equaliser by mounting raids but could not find the match-clincher as the match headed into a shootout.

Read Indian Men Top Goal-Scorers vs South Africa

Ambrosia Malonie missed her first shootout attempt with Savita making a solid save but was asked to retake it as the clock had not started much to the frustrations of the Indians. Malonie scored on her second attempt and from thereon lady luck smiled on the Hockeyroos as they converted all three attempts while Indian drew a blank with Lalremsiami, Neha and Navneet missing out. Indian eves would now take on New Zealand in the bronze medal play-off – the Black Sticks women lost 0-2 to England in a shootout after a goalless period of hockey in regulation time.