Fiji goalkeeper is ‘Player of the Match’

The Fijian teams have been the favourite punching bags in the Hockey World League round two here.

Though the Indian women managed to score a 10-0 win over the 59th ranked team for their third victory on the trot, the hosts were patchy in their game.

It wasn’t the opposition that created problems for India, but its own inconsistency. India earned 13 penalty corners and wasted 10.

Two of them were not even stopped. Two more were disallowed, and a field goal, too, was cancelled.

The ball entered the Indian half for the first time in the 30th minute, and the Indian striking circle in the 35th, so the Indian defence was hardly tested.

But the Indian forward line certainly was.

Fiji was able to fend off a dozen scoring chances; its goalkeeper brought off half a dozen on her own, and even though its inexperience leaked goals, it was not entirely humiliated.

No wonder, goalkeeper Susana Mudunatagi was named the Player of the Match despite her team’s loss.

India next plays Japan and Russia, the strongest teams in the fray besides the host.

India will need to raise its game in the remaining matches if it hopes to advance to the next round.

In other matches of the day, 33-ranked Kazakhstan scored its first goal in the tournament but lost 1-3 to Malaysia, while ninth-ranked Japan beat Russia 3-2 via penalty strokes after being tied 1-1 at the end of extra time.

The results:

India 10 (Soundarya Yendala, Namita Toppo, Roselin Dung Dung 2, Rani Rampal 2, Navjot Kaur, Jaspreet Kaur 2, Chanchan Devi) bt Fiji 0; Malaysia 3 (Siti Noor Amarina Ruhani, Norhasikin Halim, Nor Azlin Sumantri) bt Kazakhstan 1 (Vera Domashneva); Japan 4-3 Russia on penalties.

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