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Australia win Indira Gandhi Gold Cup
October 08, 2005 20:21 IST
The Indian eves succumbed to pressure in the tie-breaker as defending champions Australia ran away with the title for second time on the trot defeating hosts India 5-3 in the Indira Gandhi Gold Cup women's hockey tournament in New Delhi, on Saturday.
With both teams tied at 2-2 at the hooter and failing to break the deadlock through a golden goal in the extra time, the match had to be decided in a tie-breaker where Australia slammed three penalty strokes against India's one.
For Australia captain Nikki Hudson, who also scored in the regulation time, Arrold Nicole and Sanders Rebecca netted goals to get past Indian goalkeeper Helen Mary in the penalty shootout.
Subhadra Pradhan was the lone scorer for India in the tie-breaker.
Australian custodian Imison Rachel denied Jasjeet Kaur and Subhadra Pradhan the opportunity making brilliant saves, while Mamta Kharab's crucial shot, when India's fate was hanging in balance at 2-1, went wide.
Rebecca made no mistake in Australia's fifth attempt in the tie-breaker to romp home.
Earlier, the Indian eves started with promise as Mamta scored in the eight minute, while Jasjeet Kaur Handa slammed another in the 18th minute to consolidate the lead to a comfortable 2-0 and maintained it till the break.
But the eves from Down Under fought their way back into the game from 0-2 down by converting two penalty corners through Taylor Sarah and Nikki Hudson to keep their hopes alive for the title.
India called the shots in the first half and drew first blood when Mamta Kharab pushed Subhadra Pradhan's free hit into the cage.
India's forward line played in tandem displaying fast, skillful hockey and kept the Aussies on their backfoot for most of the first half while Jasjeet converted a penalty corner scoring the second goal for the hosts.
The second half saw the Aussies stepping up their attacks and making relentless efforts to narrow down the margin. But they succeeded only 15 minutes before the whistle when Nikki Hudson converted a well-executed setpiece in the 55th minute.
Taylor Sarah carried out another conversion in the next minute to level the scores.
Australia gave the Indian defenders a harrowing time in the last 10 minutes but they were equally up to the task and pushed the match into extra time.
Australia wasted 13 penalty corners, of which 8 came in the second half of the match.
India wasted two easy chances during the extra time as Jasjeet and Mamta failed to keep their cool and missed easy scoring chances.
Skipper Helen Mary gave the host a perfect start to the tie-breaker stopping Skirving Angie's shot with a brilliant dive to the right. But India's first shot tried by Jasjeet was also saved by Imison Rachel.
Earlier in the day, Italy upset New Zealand 2-1 for a third place finish in the tournament, which was being held after a gap of nine years.
Italy's Faustini Francesca scored a brace converting two penalty corner in the first half. New Zealand missed out on a number of scoring opportunities and had to be contend with Kayla Sharlan's goal in the 41st minute.