Women's Hockey World Cup 2022: India defeats Canada to register 1st tournament win
India has failed to qualify for the Women's Hockey World Cup 2022 quarterfinal. Meanwhile, it defeated Canada 3-2 to earn its maiden tournament win.
Skipper Savita Rani stood in front of the goal as India conquered Canada 3-2 in the penalty shootout after both teams settled for a 1-1 tie at the end of the regulation time in their classification match of the FIH Women's Hockey World Cup 2022 in Terrassa, Spain on Tuesday. Madeline Secco (11th) gave Canada the opening lead before Salima Tete (58th) equalised it late for India. But, Savita's heroics at the goal line gave India its first tournament win. The Indian captain led from the front, pulling off six saves during the shootout, whereas Navneet Kaur, Sonika and Neha converted their chances in its ninth to 16th place classification match.
Reeling from its demoralising defeat to Spain, India began the game on an attacking missive. After absorbing the initial pressure from the Indians, Canada put the ball into the Indian net. Still, it was disallowed as the referee awarded a penalty corner, and the attempt from Natalie Sourisseau went off target.
Canada got better a few minutes later, winning another penalty corner. This time the variation created confusion in the Indian defence, and Kathleen Leahy passed it to Secco, who stunned the Indians with her final touch. India again became more potent in the second quarter and penetrated the Canadian defence numerous times.
Monika, in particular, used her exhibition of 3D skills and got past the Canadian defence as goalkeeper Rowan Harris instructed her team to preserve focus. India upped its ante towards the second half. Navneet Kaur, Neha and Vandana Katariya played with freedom as Canada looked on the back foot in most instances.
In the 25th minute, Navneet and Vandana displayed excellent teamwork to create a fair chance before the shot was kept out by Canadian goalie Harris, with India trailing by a goal at half-time. After changing ends, India piled more pressure, with Lalremsiami making speedy incursions into the Canada box. Yet, Canada held firm, with Sara McManus and Hannah Haughn depicting their star performance at the backline, breaking down the Indian attacks.
India had a superb opportunity to equalise just minutes into the third quarter, but Navjot Kaur's inside-the-circle shot went over the bar. Minutes later, Savita was called into the action, making a brilliant save from a penalty corner, denying a second goal to the Canadians. As has been the case in the tournament, India was unimpressive with the penalty corners. It gained back-to-back penalty corners in the dying minutes of the third quarter, but to no availfailed to utilise the chances.
The final minute of the third quarter saw Lalremsiami's diving attempt off Salima Tete's pass from the right flank miss the target. Barring the premature goal, Canada did not have much to deliver for in the game, as the Indians mainly dominated, mounting attacks. The Canadian defence toiled, with India continuing its relentless raids in the final quarter, hunting for the equaliser.
The Indians created multiple chances through penalty corners, but Gurjit Kaur failed to convert some set pieces. The shots had the usual power but flew wide, or Canada's number one runner Sourisseau chased them down. India's perseverance finally paid off, with Salima Tete punching home a rebound after Gurjit's penalty corner flick was saved by the Candian goalie.
Karli Johansen had a chance again to regain the lead for Canada, but her penalty corner shot was wide, and the match went to a shootout. India plays Japan in the ninth-12th place play-off on Wednesday.