FIH Women’s Hockey World Cup: India keep quarter-final hopes alive despite 3-4 loss to New Zealand


India kept their hopes of qualifying for the quarter-finals of the FIH Women’s Hockey World Cup 2022 alive despite losing their final group-stage match to New Zealand ni Amstelveen on Thursday, July 7. India were outclassed 4-3 by New Zealand despite the Asian giants creating plenty of chances in the crunch contest in Pool B.

Vandana Katariya (4th minute), Lalremsiami (44th) and Gurjit Kaur (59th) scored for India but Gurjit’s late strike was not enough as New Zealand rode on a double from Olivia Merry and goals from Tessa Jopp and Frances Davies to seal the top spot in Pool B and book a place in the quarter-final round.

New Zealand topped the pool with seven points ahead of England (4), while India and China finished on two points apiece but progressed on account of a better goal difference. India had played out draws against China and England in their first two matches.

Only the top teams from each of the four pools will directly qualify for the quarter-finals. The second and third-placed teams will feature in cross-over matches. The winner of those cross-over matches will book the remaining 4 quarter-final spots.

India could have got the job done and sealed a direct berth had they converted their chances against New Zealand. India had as many as 15 penalty corners in the crunch match but they managed to convert only one of them.

India will take on Spain, one of the hosts, in Terrassa on July 10. Spain finished second in Group C and will pose a stiff challenge to India as the two battle for a spot in the last-eight round.

New Zealand secured their first penalty corner in the 12th minute and Olivia Merry found the net with a routine shot through the legs of India skipper and custodian Savita to level the scores.

Three minutes into the second quarter, Lalremsiami was denied by an onrushing NZ goalie Roberts from an one-one-situation, resulting in another penalty corner but Deep Grace Ekka’s shot wide.

India were punished by New Zealand for lapse in concentration a minute before half-time when an opportunist Jopp scored from a goal-mouth melee.

New Zealand came out attacking after the change of ends and secured back-to-back set pieces, the second of which was converted by Davies.

It was all India thereafter as they secured penalty corners in numbers but failed to utilise the chances.

Lalremsiami pulled a goal back for India in the 44th minute neatly deflecting in Sushila Chanu’s pass.

India wasted penalty corners in the final quarters, failing to make use of their aggressive intent that pushed New Zealand to the backfoot. Gurjit scored the 3rd goal for India, converting a penalty corner in the 58th minute but India missed out on opportunities, two penalty corners in the final minute to go down fighting.

— ENDS —

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