Indian women’s hockey team: India beat Canada 3-2, women’s team reached semi-finals

Birmingham: The Indian women’s hockey team qualified for the semi-finals by defeating lower-ranked Canada 3-2 in a do-or-die match of Pool A here on Wednesday. India looked in a good position to take a 2-0 lead against the world No. 15 team till the 22nd minute thanks to goals from Salima Tete (3rd minute) and Navneet Kaur (22nd).

Canada, however, managed to make a strong comeback after that and tied with goals from Brine Steyers (23rd minute) and Hannah Hawn (39th).

England had already secured a place in the semi-finals from Pool A with a 3-1 win over India on Tuesday. It was a do or die match for the Savita Poonia-led side against Canada while the opponents needed only a draw to make the last four due to a better goal difference.

After the match was tied 2-2, the team led by Yanek Schopman took the decisive lead in the 51st minute when Lalremsiami, a rebounded ball from the penalty corner, pushed it inside the goal. The Indian team started off aggressively and dominated from the start.

The team got a penalty corner in the third minute of the game on which Salima scored on the rebound. Two minutes later Lalremsiami missed an excellent opportunity to double the lead. A few seconds before the end of the first quarter, Sangeeta Kumari’s good effort was saved by goalkeeper Rowan Harris.

Canada showed more spirit in the second quarter and were able to put the Indian defense under pressure on a few occasions. India, however, doubled the lead in the 22nd minute thanks to Navneet Kaur. Navneet scored a goal from Lalremsiami on the pass. A minute later Canada got a penalty corner and Steyers cut India’s lead.

Canada got another penalty corner in the 39th minute and this time Hawn leveled his team. Monica came close to scoring in the 47th minute for India on the verge of being knocked out but Harris foiled her attempt. Two minutes later, Neha Goel hit the ball into the goal but it was disallowed as the ball hit the back of Salima’s stick.

The Indians kept the pressure up and got a penalty corner in the 51st minute. This time when Gurjit Kaur’s shot rebounded, Lalremsiami made the goal into the goal. Two minutes before the end of the game, India got another penalty corner but the team failed to score.

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