India lose to Australia in women’s hockey semis

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GOLD COAST, April 12: Indian women’s hockey team failed to capitalise on two goal-scoring chances in the dying minutes of the match to suffer a 0-1 defeat at the hands of triple defending champions Australia in the semifinals of the Commonwealth Games, on Thursday.
Desperate to neutralise the Grace Stewart strike in the third quarter, India’s coach Harendra Singh recalled goalkeeper Savita Punia when only four minutes were left in the match but the players could not cash in on the chances that came their way.
Navneet missed out a sitter from a Monika-cross from the right flank while Rani could not slam in a through pass from Vanadana Kataria.
India will now clash with England for a bronze medal on Saturday.
The play was mostly restricted to India’s half with Australia dominating the contest with high ball possession.
The Indian team saved two back-to-back penalty corners in the early minutes of first quarter after Vandana created a move inside the Australian striking circle but lacked support to pose a serious threat.
The Indian defense remained solid to keep an aggressive Australia at bay, though, passing upfront was not fluent for the Rani-led team.
The hosts kept attacking the Indian half and Grace Stewart missed a shot in front of the Indian goalpost but the Indians came out of the first quarter unscathed.
Indian custodian Savita deflected a furious hit from an Australian stick early into the second quarter. A yellow card to Navneet meant that Indian team was down to 10-women for five minutes. (PTI)