Indian girls created history by winning country’s first ever bronze medal in the junior women hockey World Cup as they pipped England 3-2 penalties, riding on striker Rani’s dazzling show, here on Sunday.
18-year-old Rani scored India’s only goal in the regulation time and then found the net twice in the penalty shoot-out to script India’s memorable victory.
India had surprised top teams in the competition and they finished their campaign in superb manner. England girls could consider themselves unlucky as they were pipped in the bronze medal match by South Korea in the last edition of the championship in Boston.
The two teams had ended 1-1 after regulation time.
Navneet Kaur’s strike handed India a 3-2 lead in the shoot out and when Anna Toman missed the following shot, it secured India’s win.
Rani took the first stroke in the shoot-out and scored straight away. None of the England player could score except Emily Defroand, who cancelled India’s lead on both occasions.
Navneet had missed her earlier stroke but beat the rival goalkeeper in her second attempt as India gained upper hand again.
Anna, who had found the equaliser in the regulation for England, could not rescue her side this time in the pressure situation.
Earlier, Rani had put India ahead in the 13th minute through her brilliant field goal. The Indian girls defended their citadel well and maintained the lead till the half-time break.
England tried hard to get an equaliser and in the second half and Anna Toman brought her side back with her 55th minute strike.
The deadlock remained till the full time and the game was stretched to penalty shootout.