Demonstrating their defensive prowess in a 1-1 draw against Olympic bronze-medal-winning England, India pierced the attacking field and recorded their first Women’s Hockey World Cup victory in their second game against China on Tuesday. Will try The Indians put on a stellar defensive performance in their opening match of Pool B against England on Sunday, led by captain and goalkeeper Swetha Punia.
The likes of vice-captains Deep Grace Ika, Nikki Pardhan, Gerjit Kaur and Adita performed brilliantly, denying England a single penalty corner in the entire 60 minutes.
His only blister was a ninth-minute goal when Isabella Peter neatly deflected a pass from outside the ‘D’ and conceded it.
In addition, it was almost an excellent attempt by the Indian backline against England, which fielded almost the same number of athletes from the UK who were involved in the Tokyo Olympics.
Swetha, as always, was brilliant in the round, she made some great savings with her sharp anxiety.
However, India failed to change the penalty corner as they could score only once out of the seven pcs they got, Vandana Kataria equalized from a rebound in the 28th minute.
India also created many opportunities against England but the forward line failed to use most of them, except for parity.
In the 56th minute, Sharmila Devi missed a golden opportunity as she failed to get her stick on a great pass from a teammate.
The Indians will try to alleviate their attacking woes and beat world No. 13 China, who drew 2-2 with New Zealand in the second match of Pool B on Sunday. Chief Coach Genic Shopman will oversee further clinical performance from the forward line, including Vandana, Lalarimsyami and Shumaila.
In terms of form and ranking, world number eight India will definitely start as a favorite against China but happiness is something that the Savita-led team wants to avoid.
It was India that topped the last two meetings between the two sides.
India beat China 7-1 in their first outing in the FIH Pro League tie before winning the second double-header match 2-1 in Muscat, Oman.
England will face New Zealand in the second match of Pool B on Tuesday.
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