India outclass Italy 3-0 to enter Quarterfinals:Womens’ Hockey World Cup

The Asian Champions- India easily outdid their Italian counterparts in a 3-0 win in a playoff on Tuesday and set up a quarter final meet against Ireland in the Women’s Hockey World Cup.

World No 10 India produced a good all-round display and were helped by goals from Lalremsiami (ninth minute), Neha Goyal (45th) and Vandana Katariya (55th) at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.

India had to be alert against world No 17 Italy, who had defeated higher-ranked sides South Korea and China to qualify for the playoffs. Even though the European outfit conceded 12 goals against the Netherlands in their last game, both Italy and India were guarded against each other. It resulted with the match opening up with a slow tempo during the beginning moments of the first period.

But India created a glorious opportunity in the ninth minute as Navjot Kaur won the first penalty corner of the match. The resulting flick was taken by Gurjit Kaur and her fierce strike was deflected away by the first rusher.

India seemed content to invite the Italians inside their half, and looked to attack them on the counter, hoping to catch their opponents off guard.

On the other hand, Italy also had chances to go forward, but failed to deliver inside the striking circle, giving away free hits too often as India took their lead into the half-time break.

India could have gone 2-0 up in the 34th minute as Navneet Kaur found herself in possession with her back towards the goal. The young forward turned and deceived the Italian goalkeeper but just missed the target as she placed the ball wide of the goal-post.

Trailing 0-2, Italy showed some urgency in the fourth quarter. Drag-flicker Agata Wybieralska forced a good save from goalkeeper Savita.

However, India upped the ante to kill off the game by earning two back-to-back penalty corners in the 54th and 55th minutes. In the second penalty corner, Gurjit Kaur’s fierce low flick towards the right side of goalkeeper was cleverly deflected in by Vandana to make it 3-0.

Following the win, Sjoerd Marijne-coached india will take on Ireland on Thursday for a place in the semi-finals.


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