Hockey

Commonwealth Games: Indian women stumble in the opener

Wales’ Natasha Marke-Jones celebrates with Phebe Richards and Lisa Daley after scoring a goal against Indian women hockey team at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games on Thursday.

Wales’ Natasha Marke-Jones celebrates with Phebe Richards and Lisa Daley after scoring a goal against Indian women hockey team at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: Mark Kolbe

Wales wins by the odd goal in five in the Pool A match

Wales chalked out its first ever win over India in women’s hockey at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre here on Thursday.

The Pool A match saw the Welsh, ranked 26 in the world, shock their rival with a gutsy 3-2 win, a result that could leave India with a lot to do to make it the knock-out round. The Indians were unable to play their usual game and blew away as many as 14 penalty corners before succumbing.

Wales struck early in the seventh minute as a strongly moving Lisa Daley waltzed the ball past the Indian custodian Savita without much difficulty.

The Indians were unable to shake off the blues even in the second quarter and suffered more as Sian French converted a penalty stroke in the 26th minute.

The Indian engine somehow crackled to life thereafter and were able to call the shots for the first time after the break.

Skipper Rani Rampal and Nikki Pradhan helped the side restore parity in the third quarter.

Rani converted a penalty corner, the second of the session, while Nikki cleanly deflected a cross from Navjot Kaur. The World No. 10 had its chances to sew up the match but Monika failed to make good a pass from Rani and Gurjit Kaur was unable to put a penalty corner past the Welsh goalkeeper.

A counterattack from Wales saw Savita fumbling with a clearance and Natasha Marke-Jones took full advantage to slot it in.

The Indians, who left the field with sagging shoulders, play Malaysia on Friday.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 8:01:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/hockey/commonwealth-games-wales-beat-india-in-womens-hockey/article23440026.ece

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