FIH Pro League: India’s women’s hockey team thrash USA 4-0 to secure third place in first season

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Reported by:| Edited by: |Source: PTI |Updated: June 23, 2022, 07:01 IST

India’s women’s hockey team produced a dominating performance to edge the United States 4-0 in the second leg to complete a creditable third in their first season in the FIH Pro League on Wednesday.

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The Indians earlier beat the United States 4-2 in the first game of the double header on Tuesday. Vandana Katariya (39th, 54th) scored twice, while Sonika (54th) and Sangita Kumari (58th) scored once for India.

Argentina have already won the title with the Netherlands finishing second.

USA started the game on a bright note and got the first chance of the game in the second minute, but Elizabeth Yeager’s high shot was easily stopped by Indian skipper and goalkeeper Savita.

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The Indians also had their chances soon after, but Sharmila Devi squandered a golden chance as she failed to beat the USA keeper from close range.

As usual, Salima Tete was a direct wire from the right flank, creating chances for her team with her runs which split the defence.

The Americans got their second penalty corner in the 11th minute but wasted the chance. The United States started positively again after the quarter break, but the Indians regained confidence as the game progressed.

India earned their first penalty corner in the 23rd minute but failed to take the free kick.

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The Indians continued to attack afterwards and were awarded two more penalty corners, but the end result was the same as both teams failed to break the deadlock at half time.

Three minutes into the third quarter, India were awarded a penalty corner, but Navneet Kaur’s trick shot after the striker’s first fumble was easily saved by USA goalkeeper Kelsey Bing.

But it was Janneke Schopman’s daughters who broke the deadlock in the 39th minute when Vandana had a light touch to deflect Gurjit Kaur’s shot from India’s fifth corner.

The Indians had plenty of chances in the last two quarters. Navneet missed a keeper as her slapshot in front of an open goal went over the post.

The Americans were awarded a penalty corner in the 43rd minute, but India defended well. India then scored three goals in the space of four minutes to seal the game.

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First, Vandana scored an open goal from a build up from the right flank, then seconds later Sonika found the USA net from a goalmouth scrum from another attack from the right.

Indian skipper Savita quickly made a double save to deny the Americans a penalty corner.

The young Sangita also put her name on the score sheet with a fabulous field goal in the 57th minute. The last chance of the game fell to the United States in the form of another penalty corner, but they squandered it.

The win will boost India’s confidence ahead of the Women’s World Cup which will be co-hosted by the Netherlands and Spain from July 1-17.

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