India beats New Zealand 2-1 in penalty shootout to win bronze in women’s hockey at Commonwealth Games

India beat New Zealand 2-1 in a penalty shootout in the women's hockey bronze medal match at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games on Sunday.

India celebrates its win in the women’s hockey bronze medal play-off against New Zealand. 

India celebrates its win in the women’s hockey bronze medal play-off against New Zealand.  | Photo Credit: PTI

India beat New Zealand 2-1 in a penalty shootout in the women's hockey bronze medal match at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games on Sunday.

India beat New Zealand 2-1 in a thrilling penalty shootout in the women’s hockey bronze medal match at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games on Sunday.

Salima Tete put India in front in the 29th minute when she scored with a reverse scoop. New Zealand checked for a backstick but the goal stood.

New Zealand came close to levelling the score in the opening minute of the third quarter when it worked its way inside the circle. But an alert Indian defence ensured the attempt was blocked. It looked like New Zealand had pulled one back in the dying minutes of the third quarter. But India reviewed, and the video referee said the free hit was not taken from the 5m line, so the goal did not stand.

Navneet Kaur was close to doubling India’s lead in the fourth quarter, but the shot went wide. Moments later, New Zealand was awarded a push but India appealed for a backstick and got a penalty corner. After India failed to convert it, one more penalty corner was awarded to India as the ball rose dangerously to hit Lalremsiami. However, India squandered it again.

India endured a brief scare when, with under 30 seconds to go, New Zealand was awarded a penalty corner with the ball hitting Neha. It failed to score but there was more drama to follow as the Kiwis earned a penalty stroke. India checked but it did not stand as the ball was kicked away by an Indian player. New Zealand captain Olivia Merry then converted to make it 1-1 and take the match into the penalty shootout.

India eventually beat New Zealand 2-1 in the shootout, with Savita Punia pulling off three stunning saves. After Megan Hull put New Zealand ahead, an agile Savita denied Rose Tynan, Katie Doar and Olivia Shannon, while Sonika and Navneet scored for India to register a famous win. It sparked wild celebrations in the Indian camp as the players lifted head coach Janneke Schopman.

What makes the win sweeter is the fact that it comes close on the heels of a controversial penalty-shootout defeat to Australia in the semifinal on Friday. The first penalty was retaken after the stopwatch for the countdown didn’t start as the official hadn’t given the signal. Indian skipper Punia had thwarted the first attempt from Ambrosia Malone. But Malone converted the retake as Australia went on to win 3-0.

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