The hosts India defeated Poland by 3-1 in final match to emerge champions of Hero FIH Hockey World League Round 2 being played at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi. With this win, India has qualified for Round 3 of Hockey World League to be played in June in Malaysia and Spain. India will playing in Spain leg of the tournament in Valencia on #RoadtoRio. Top 3 finishers at both Round 3 tournaments hosted by Spain and Malaysia will qualify for the Rio Olympics.
Final Standings: 1. India, 2. Poland, 3. Malaysia, 4. Thailand, 5. Russia, 6. Kazakhstan, 7. Ghana, 8. Singapore
Top Scorer of the Tournament: Vandana Katariya, India
Best Goalkeeper of the Tournament: Marta Kucharska, Poland
Junior Player of Tournament: Rani, India
Player of the Tournament: Marlena Rybacha, Poland
Indian captain Ritu Rani who appeared in 200th international match scored final goal (59th minute) for the India to seal with win, when she received a quick pass from Poonam Rani, while Vandana Katariya (Highest scorer of the tournament) opened the account in the match in 15th minute and evergreen Rani Rampal scored a well crafted goal to earn 2-1 lead in 44th minute. Poland had equalized through a well worked Penalty Corner goal in 17th minute, that was the only goal which Indian team conceded throughout the tournament. The win even marked India making a clean sweep in the tournament by winning each of the six matches played over the last week.
A happy, High Performance Director, Hockey India, Roelant Oltmans said, “First quarter we played astounding. The way Rani scored her goal was brilliant and not everyday someone scores a goal like that. We had pressure on us in the third quarter but we came back strong. The team has a very good understanding on the field and they did a great job today”
Speaking post the match Ritu Rani, Indian Captain said “We are very happy we won. We played well but we should have played better. From here we will concentrate on Round 3 and we are confident of our performance”.
Hockey India announced a cash prize of Rs 1 Lakh each to the players of the Indian team and awarded support staff with a cash prize of Rs 50,000/- each. In addition, the two Individual award winners – Vandana Katariya, the Top Scorer of the Tournament and Rani Rampal, the Junior Player of the Tournament (best player under the age of 21) will receive a separate cash prize of Rs 1 Lakhs each for their brilliant performances in the just concluded tournament.
Indian Women’s Hockey team captain Ritu Rani earned her 200th international cap when she stepped on turf while leading the team to the title of Hero FIH Hockey World League Round 2 today. Excited on her achievement, Ritu Rani, said, “I am honoured to have been able to give my contribution to Indian hockey. It’s a great feeling and I hope to continue adding more to the sport with full zest and determination. I hope our efforts encourage more young girls to take up hockey.”
Malaysia defeated Thailand 3-0 to seal the third spot in the tournament while Thailand had to make themselves happy with the fourth place. The third place play-off game was an intense fight between the two teams to clinch the third spot and conclude their campaign in the League with a win. Earlier in the day, Russia scored 9 past Kazakhstan to finish at 5th place, while Ghana edged past Singapore by 2-1 to avoid wooden spoon finish.
Contented with his team’s third place finish, Coach of Malaysia Md Nasihin Nubli Ibrahim said, “Very happy to have finished at the third position though our aim was to finish amongst the top two but we are ok as we still qualify for Round 3 being the hosts. This was one of our best tours. I am really happy with Norbaini Hashim along with the captain and vice captain as full backs. India being another Asian team in this tournament, we would like to wish them luck and hope they win it.”