Marching ahead in the league, India registered their second consecutive win in FIH Hockey World League Round 2 (Women) by defeating Poland 2- 0 at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, Delhi, today. Earlier in the evening, Thailand defeated Ghana by 3-1 in another Pool A match. Malaysia defeated Russia 3-0 to register 2nd consecutive win, while Kazakhstan defeated Singapore by 4-0 in their pool match.
As Soundarya Yendala came to play today against Poland, she completed her 100th appearance for the Indian National team. Coming from a humble background, she worked her way up to the top through her hard work and perseverance. Today she is an important player in the Indian squad. On her 100th appearance, an excited Soundarya said, “It is a great honour to represent the country and to be able to do it for 100 times is an incredible feeling. However, the main focus right now is qualifying for the next round and eventually qualifying for the Rio Olympics, that is the ultimate dream of each and every player at the moment.“
The game displayed a set of fearless performances by both the teams and in the initial minutes itself, Poland was awarded with the first penalty corner of the game. The girls made clever attempts to convert the opportunity but failed to capitalize it. On the other hand, India opened the first quarter on the front foot showing some strength and dynamism and Vandana Katariya smacked the ball hard with a deflection and scored the first goal of the match in the 13th minute of the game taking a 1-0 lead.
Maintaining the same momentum in the second quarter, India started with the proceedings and tried to create scoring opportunities by surrounding the D of the opponents. While both the teams made desperate attempts to put themselves into the frame, Poland team displayed good coordination trying to close the gaps by holding on to the possession of the ball. India took an advantage of the counter attack and it was Poonam Rani who took the reception and stroked in a field goal in the 26th minute and doubled the lead to 2-0.
With the change of both the ends, Poland tried to put in continuous pressure but was unable to break down the resolute defence of the Indian team. Indian girls made constant efforts to stop the ball from the right flank and showcased wonderful interception throughout the match. India was seen on the dominating side right through the beginning but unfortunately failed to convert the scoring opportunities on the couple of occasions. As both the teams were unable to score any goals, the score remained stagnant at 2-0 by the end of the third quarter.
Entering into the last quarter of the game, the two teams were seen in action playing the game tactically. In search of scooping the ball into the net and opening their account, Poland kept on chasing the ball and restricted the Indian eves to add any further goals to their tally. Very successful in defying the Indian attack, the Poland goalie displayed her beautiful bit of goalkeeping and held back the Indian eves to score any goals further. The polished defence of Indian team kept the scores intact and did not allow Poland to score any goals thus, marking a well deserved win for India over Poland 2-0.
Speaking post the match against India, Poland captain Marlena Rybacha said, “We knew it would be a hard game against India as they are a very strong team and must have had a good preparation for this tournament. We conceded two goals in the first half but we gave a good fight in the second half. We are happy that we played a better game today and that we are progressing with every match. Our focus is on one game at a time and in the next match with Ghana we will try to score more goals.”
Speaking post the win against Poland, India Captain Ritu Rani said, “We are happy to have won the game and if we win the next as well, we will be at the top of the pool which will be a good motivation. Our defence played well as we restricted Poland from scoring any goals. However we missed on the attaching side and scored only two goals. Our focus will be to get more penalty corner opportunities and will work on the mistakes committed today to make our attack even stronger in the next match.”
The matches of the Hero FIH World League Round 2 (Women) are being telecast LIVE and exclusive on DD Sports.
10 March 2015 Match schedule:
Malaysia vs Singapore 1315 HRS IST
Russia vs Kazakhstan 1530 HRS IST
Ghana vs Poland 1745 HRS IST
Thailand vs India 2000 HRS IST