Hosts India dominated their first match of the FIH Hockey World League Round 2 (Women) against Ghana and recorded a thumping 13-0 victory as forward Vandana Katariya scored 4 goals. Earlier in the day, Poland defeated Thailand by 4-1 in another Pool B game, while Malaysia and Russia scored 8-0 and 7-0 victories over Kazakhstan and Singapore respectively in Pool A.
India kept the pressure on Ghana from the moment the game started. It was Deepika’s pass to Vandana Katariya at the D which was cleverly deflected by the latter into the nets, giving India the first goal in the eighth minute. Next minute India was again in the D of Ghana and this time it was Monika who got a clean pass in the D, slapped the ball into the nets, doubling the lead for the team. Ghana looking at opening their account won a penalty corner the very next minute but the fumble made them loose the opportunity to close the goal gap. With a chance to take the lead further, seconds left for the end of the first quarter India got a penalty corner to their name. But unfortunately the ball was hit wide of the left goal post and the first quarter ended with India leading 2-0.
Continuing with their attack, just minutes into the second quarter, India scored the third goal through a penalty corner. Deep Ekka made no mistake in beating the Ghana goalie and scoring for the team. This further dented the spirits of Ghana while India on the other hand increased their attack on the opponents. Scoring her second goal of the match, Vandana Katariya was seen in action when through another sweet deflection in the D added the fourth goal for India in the 21st minute. Not looking at putting a stop to their goal scoring spree, Rani Rampal scored the fifth goal in the 23rd minute leaving the opponents stunned. At the end of first half the Indian eves was leading 5-0 in the game.
Not loosing much time in the third quarter, India added one more to the goal tally when Rani Rampal in the 33rd minute beat the defence of the opponents and put the ball past the goalkeeper taking the score to 6-0. Not wanting to put a stop to the goals, India scored their seventh goal in the 40th minute when they had another penalty corner opportunity. While Jaspreet Kaur hit the ball hard but the Ghana goalkeeper saved and Amandeep Kaur immediately scored on the rebound.
With 7-0 on the board the Indian eves in the fourth and last quarter looked at continuing their onslaught. In the 48th minute Vandana Katariya scored a brilliant field goal with a reverse shot and added goal number eight to India’s scorecard. This goal took her personal goal tally to three on the very first day of the tournament. It was 9-0 in the 54th minute when Japreet Kaur scored through a penalty corner. Next minute, the tenth goal was scored by Poonam Rani leaving the opponent goalkeeper frustrated. India not wanting to stop their dream run, added the 11th goal in the 55th minute to their name and this time it was Lilima Minz who scored through another field goal. In the 56th minute a reverse shot by Vandana Katariya again scored from a difficult angle and this registered the fourth goal to her personal tally and the score stood 12-0. Next minute, India’s 13th goal came through a penalty corner coming from the stick of Jaspreet Kaur again. With this the game ended with India winning 13-0.
Speaking post the match, Hockey India High Performance Director, Roelant Oltmans said “It was a fantastic start as we did not know much about Ghana and their play. The girls played an outstanding second half as they created and converted a lot of opportunities. I believe the first half was a little sloppy but they bettered it in the second half. Poland is more organised than Ghana and one of the key to win against them will be patience and technically it will be positioning.”
Speaking on the loss, Head Coach Osei Boakye-Yiadom said, “The Indian team was faster for us. They are by far the best team and looking at their game we need to relook our planned strategies. The score is not good for us and we hope to improve for the next game and try to better ourselves.”
The matches of the FIH World League Round 2 (Women) will be telecast LIVE and exclusive on DD Sports.
Tomorrow’s Match schedule:
Kazakhstan vs Singapore 1315 HRS IST
Russia vs Malaysia 1530 HRS IST
Ghana vs Thailand 1745 HRS IST
Poland vs India 2000 HRS IST