India and Malaysia kept perfect winning records intact and ended their last matches of the pool phase with a 6-0 and 5-0 win over Thailand and Singapore respectively in the Hero FIH Hockey World League Round 2 (Women) today. The table toppers of Pool A, India started their campaign on a high defeating Ghana and Poland in the previous matches, while Malaysia defeated Kazakhstan and Russia to top Pool B.
Earlier in the day, Kazakhstan edged past Russia by 3-2 and Poland beat Ghana 4-0 to finish 2nd in their respectively pools. In the cross-over quarter-finals (to be played on 12th March), India will have Singapore as their opponent, Malaysia will see Ghana, while Kazakhstan and Poland will face Thailand and Russia respectively (Full Schedule, Results and Points Table here).
While the game started with a nervous start from the Thailand defence, the Indian eves were constant in attacking from both the flanks throughout the game. The Indian team was seen high in their fighting spirits and was awarded with three penalty corners in the early minutes of the game but failed to convert any of them. With neither of the teams able to open their score card, the goal tally stood nil at the end of first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Indian eves were looking to pierce the defence of Thailand. Amandeep Kaur finally managed to break the defence of the opponents and pierced in the ball from the right flank to score the opening goal of the match for India in the 25th minute through a field effort. Thailand team’s goalie Jesdaporn Tongsun showed superb agility and excellent reflexes and placed herself perfectly at the goal mouth disallowing the Indian team to score from penalty corners. Unable to open their score card, Thailand made a dry run and the scores stood 1-0 in favour of India by the end of the second quarter.
After a much entertaining first half, the high-voltage game in the third quarter went full throttle where the hosts continued to build pressure on Thailand. It was through the stick of Jaspreet Kaur who slightly lifted the ball from the ground and struck goal post in the 38th minute with the strength of a penalty corner conversion. Within two minutes, the goal post struck the third time when Rani Rampal surged ahead and notched a field goal in the 40th minute advancing the lead to 3-0. In the dying minutes of the quarter, India scored through Vandana Katariya who added another goal to her tally in the 45th minute through a field effort. Failing to gather the ball and hitting the target, Thailand failed to score any goals leaving a score of 4-0 in favor of India on the board.
Continuing with the same momentum, India picked up the pace in the last stages of the match but was denied a number of goals from penalty corner opportunities. On the other hand, keeping the score line out of the mind, Thailand focused on restricting the opponents to score further goals. This was short- lived as the last minute of the game yielded two goals in favour of India coming each from penalty corner and a field effort which were very well responded by Rani Rampal and Jaspreet Kaur in the 60th minute respectively. With no goals scored in favour of Thailand, the match ended with India defeating Thailand 6-0.
Excited on winning the match today, Hockey India’s High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans said, “It was a good and one sided match. We scored brilliantly and the team coordination was up to the mark. With this victory the confidence level is high. For me the performance was more than satisfactory and we are now gearing up for the next level of competition.”
Speaking post the match today, Thailand Coach, Young Wook Bae said, “It was a good game though we could not defend well. We will ensure we come back strong in the next match. We have to work on our defence and conversions.“
The matches of the Hero FIH World League Round 2 (Women) will be telecast LIVE and exclusive on DD Sports.
12 March 2015 Quarter Final Match schedule:
13:15 QF4 Malaysia v Ghana
15:30 QF2 Kazakhstan v Thailand
17:45 QF3 Poland v Russia
20:00 QF1 India v Singapore