India women’s hockey team qualifies for semifinal at Commonwealth Games 2022

In a must-win group stage game against Canada, it prevailed 3-2 at the University of Birmingham to set up an epic semifinal against Australia on Friday.

India‘s Kaur Navneet celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates.

India‘s Kaur Navneet celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates. | Photo Credit: REUTERS

In a must-win group stage game against Canada, it prevailed 3-2 at the University of Birmingham to set up an epic semifinal against Australia on Friday.

The India women’s hockey team on Wednesday finished second in Pool A with nine points to make the semifinals of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

In a must-win group stage game against Canada, it prevailed 3-2 at the University of Birmingham to set up an epic semifinal against Australia on Friday.

India, looking for an early breakthrough, charged into the opponent’s half as the whistle went off, but Canada goalkeeper Rowan Harris thwarted forward Vandana Katariya’s shot.

Moments later Salima Tete converted a penalty corner after the video referee took some time to look at replays for a stray foot in the circle.

India came close to scoring in the 11th minute again when midfielder Jyoti made a quick run down the right before trying to thread a pass into the box. However, none of the Indian players were there to capitalise.

Canada’s forwards took to the pitch with renewed vigour in the second quarter, but some ordinary defending saw Navneet Kaur extending India’s lead in the 22nd minute.

Canada forward Brienne Stairs, denied an opportunity in the 23rd minute, made the most of a penalty corner seconds later, drilling the ball into the Indian goal.

After Stairs’ confident dash into the other half was cut short by a line of Indian midfielders and defenders, the momentum swung either way for a major chunk of the third quarter.

The ball struck Udita’s leg in the D and Canada’s Hannah Haughn restored parity with a successful penalty corner in the 39th minute that took a deflection off Savita’s arm to find the top of the net.

Midfielder Neha Goyal drove one into the net in the 49th minute but the umpire’s referral found the ball had hit the back of Salima’s stick during the build-up.

Lalremsiami, with a little more than nine minutes left, scored the decider amid a goalmouth melee during a penalty corner. Unfortunately, she had to be carried out of the turf later, after sustaining an injury during a penalty corner.

“She seems to be doing fine for now when I checked. She is a very strong player. We can only hope it is nothing big enough to make her sit out the next game,” India captain Savita told Sportstar after the game.

Looking forward to the semifinal clash against Australia, Savita said, “We are focusing on our performance for now. It feels better when you play against the big guys. But we have played a lot against them. We believe a lot in ourselves and that helped us during the Olympics as well. We will analyse their strengths and look at what can be done to stop them.”

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