August 10, 2022
Commonwealth Games: Indian women register 3-2 win over Canada, enter semi-finals


The Indian women’s hockey team survived a few anxious moments before beating lower-ranked Canada 3-2 in a Pool A match to qualify for the semi-finals of the Commonwealth Games on Wednesday. India looked to be in control of the match till the 22nd minute after goals from Salima Tete (3rd) and Navneet Kaur (22nd) took a 2-0 lead over their world number 15 opponents. But the Canadians, then, displayed a lion-hearted performance through goals from Brian Steyers (23rd) and Hannah Hawn (39th).

England had already assured a semi-final berth from the pool with a 3-1 win over India on Tuesday, a do-or-die match for the Savita Punia-led side, with Canada needing just one draw to progress. It was because they had a better target margin.

Jeanneke Schopmann’s girls leveled 2-2 and Lalremsiami scored in the 51st minute from a penalty corner.

The Indians went on the offensive in the first quarter and dominated from the start.

India’s attacking intent came to fruition in the third minute of the game when Salima retaliated from a penalty corner.

Two minutes later, Lalremsiami missed an excellent opportunity to double the lead, his shot going past the Canadian goal post.

Just seconds from the first quarter, Sangeeta Kumari showed great skill to take the ball off the baseline and create a big chance for India, which was saved by Canadian goalkeeper Rowan Harris.

The Canadians showed more intent in the second quarter and were able to put pressure on the Indian defense on a few occasions.

But it was India who doubled their lead in the 22nd minute through Navneet Kaur, who shot into an open goal after receiving a pass from Lalremsiami.

A minute later Canada secured a penalty corner and cut the deficit through the stairs.

Canada secured another penalty corner in the 39th minute and Hawn equalized for his team.

With seconds left in the third quarter, Canada secured two more penalty corners, but India defended the numbers.

Facing an elimination, Monica came close to handing India the much-needed goal in the 47th minute, but Canada’s custodian Harris refused.

Two minutes later, Neha Goyal pushed from close range but the goal could not be scored as the ball hit Salima’s back stick.

The Indians kept up the pressure and secured a penalty corner in the 51st minute, and this time, Lalremsiami tapped with a goal-mouth melee when Gurjit Kaur’s shot was saved by the Canadian defence.

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Two minutes after the hooter, India secured another penalty corner but failed to use it.

The Indians kept their defense in shape for the rest of the game to secure the all-important victory.

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