The Indian women’s hockey team put on a stellar performance in Rotterdam on Wednesday to beat USA 4-0 in the second round match to secure a credible third position in their first season in the FIH Pro League. The Indians had earlier beaten the United States 4-2 in the first match of the double header on Tuesday. Vandana Kataria (39th, 54th) scored twice, while Sonica (54th) and Sangeeta Kumari (58th) once voted for India. Argentina has already won the title and the Netherlands is in second place.
USA started the match brilliantly and got the first chance of the match in the second minute, but Elizabeth Yiger’s high shot was easily saved by Indian captain and goalkeeper Swetha. The Indians also got a chance soon but Sharmila Devi missed a golden opportunity as she failed to beat the American goalkeeper from close range.
As always, Saleema Tete was the live wire on the right, creating opportunities for her team with runs that separated her defense.
The Americans got their second penalty corner in the 11th minute but missed the opportunity.
After the quarter break, USA made a positive start again but as the match progressed, the confidence of the Indians increased.
India won their first penalty corner in the 23rd minute but failed to implement the set.
The Indians then continued the attack and won two more penalty corners but the result remained the same as both teams failed to break the deadlock at half time.
In the third minute of the third quarter, India won a penalty corner but was easily saved by USA goalkeeper Kelsey Bing after the initial trap shot of Nunit Corps hit the stop. But it was the girls of the genetic shopman who broke the deadlock in the 39th minute when Vandana got a light touch from India’s fifth penalty corner to turn the tide of Garjit Kaur.
In the last two quarters, Indians had many opportunities. Nunit missed a seat as his slap went over the post in front of the open goal.
The Americans got a penalty corner in the 43rd minute but India defended well.
India then won the match by scoring three goals in four minutes.
First, Vandana scored an open goal from the right side of the build-up and then a few seconds later, Sonica got the USA net from the right side with a second attack goal from Mouthmouth.
Indian captain Swetha soon made a double save to stop the Americans from the penalty corner.
Young Sangita also scored a brilliant field goal in the 57th minute and entered her name in the score sheet.
The last chance of the match fell in front of America in the form of another penalty corner but it was lost.
The win will boost India’s confidence ahead of the Women’s World Cup co-hosted by the Netherlands and Spain from July 1 to 17.
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