London, July 26: Ireland’s giant-killing run at the FIH Women’s Hockey World Cup in London served a jolt to India’s chances as the green machine stunned the blue brigade with a 1-0 victory and became the first team to enter the quarterfinals of the quadrennial showpiece in London.
Anna O’Flanagan’s 12th-minute goal proved to be the difference between the two teams that played contrasting hockey. While Ireland looked more assertive and assured of their plans and structure, India were at best iffy and uncharacteristically slow.
The win confirmed Ireland’s spot at the top of the pool with a game in hand. They upset USA 3-1 in their first match. India, who drew their opening game against hosts England 1-1, will now fight to finish in top three for a place in the crossover matches.
The four toppers from each pool qualify directly for the quarters, while the No. 2 and 3 fight for the remaining four places in crossover fixtures.
The Sjoerd Marijne-coached India are currently third, ahead of USA on goal-difference but with same number of points (1). The two teams meet in their last pool match on July 29. (ToI)