Indian girls did wonderful a job in overcoming the defencive mode of their Italian counter-parts. As Italy needed a just draw to reach the finals of Olympic Qualifiers (to be played tomorrow at 8PM IST), whose winner will be play in London 2012, they played defencive and did not want to concede goals and attacked rarely. So India had to face a lot of resiliance from the Italians and this deadlock continued till the 55th minute of the game, when India’s Ritu Rani sent the ball in net on a high rebound from Italy’s Gaolkeeper’s pads on Jaspreet Kaur flick on a penalty corner. Italian players protested but Ritu Rani’s stick was not dangerously high. And, after having lead India, India had to do lot of work in defence as Italy was in attacking mode, but hosts kept attacking also. Though India conceded a penalty corner but Joydeep Kaur stood tall between the nets and fierce hit from Italy’s player and deflected it just wide with her stick. Indian women’s team game lacked the intensity initially, as they missed many opportunity which came their way, finally the hard work gave them the deserved win and a place in finals, a chance to play in Olympics after 32 years. Girls would take it both handed, should go all out against South Africa in the finals tomorrow at 8:00PM IST in Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, Delhi, plus they will have crowd behind them.
Poland was tough nut to crack for India (already in the final, as France was held by Canada). Not only the Polish team took lead in 13th minute (PC goal by DUTKIEWICZ Tomasz), but also equalized (2-2) in 63rd minute through PC goal by JUSZCZAK Miroslaw. While India first levelled the score in 26th minute though a direct conversion of penalty by Sandeep Singh and they could take lead only in 59th minute through nicely worked pass Sarvanjit Singh to Shivendra Singh in front of Goal mouth, who neatly deflected it into the net. But 4 minutes later, Poland restored parity, which lasted on 90 seconds and India lead again (3-2) in 65th minute through an unstoppable flick by Raghunath on a penalty corner. Sandeep Singh converted the last PC, which they got at the stroke final hooter to make it 4-2.
24th February’s Results:
W13 UKR – POL 1 – 0 (1 – 0) M13 ITA – SIN 4 – 0 (2 – 0)
W14 RSA – CAN 4 – 1 (1 – 1) M14 FRA – CAN 1 – 1 (0 – 1)
W15 ITA – IND 0 – 1 (0 – 0) M15 IND – POL 4 – 2 (1 – 1)