India women booked a place in the semi-finals of the hockey competition at the Commonwealth Games 2022 after overcoming Canada in a thriller in their final Pool A game. Goals from Salima Tete, Navneet Kaur, and Lalremsiami gave India the crucial win in a hard-fought encounter against lower-ranked Canada.
India will finish 2nd in Pool A behind leaders England, who defeated Savita Punia’s team in their group-stage meeting on Tuesday.India are set to face Australia in the semi-final on August 5.
It was a stunning effort from the India women who kept their composure even as Canada was looking to mount fightbacks at regular intervals.
India ended the opening quarter with a 1-0 lead after Salima Tete scored from a penalty corner. India could have added more as Navneet and Siami came close to doubling the lead. However, India did not have to wait long for the 2-0 lead as Navneet Kaur scored from open play in the 23rd minute.
However, Canada pulled one back before half-time with Brienne Stairs scoring from a penalty corner in the 25th minute.
SIAMI SHINES FOR INDIA
Canada dominated the 3rd quarter, putting relentless pressure on India as they scored through a lovely improvisation from a penalty corner. Hannah Haughn recieved the ball on the left and she smashed it past Savita to level the tie at 2-2.
It was a wonderfully executed penalty corner as Canada’s drag-flicker pushed to Haughn on the left who was unmarked.
Canada got two more penalty corners right after the equaliser but India did well to fend off the danger.
All Canada needed was just a draw and India had to work hard in the final quarter to get the job done. Lalremsiami emerged as the hero for India as she picked up injury scare after working her way through in the D to get the winning goal for India.
In the 51st minute, Gurjit Kaur’s shot from the penalty corner was saved but Lalremsiami won the battle of scramble and pushed the ball past the Canadian goalkeeper even as she was lying flat on the field.
India will look to put behind the disappointing 9th-place finish at the Hockey World Cup as they face a stern test against Australia in the semi-finals. India lost the bronze medal match in Gold Coast 4 years ago but Savita’s team will want to push ahead and finish on the final step of the podium.
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