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Indian eves suffer third defeat
October 04, 2006 00:09 IST
India suffered their third defeat, going down 2-3 to Spain in a Pool 'A' match and ending any chance of making it to the last four stage of the women's World Cup hockey tournament in Madrid on Tuesday.
Interestingly, India lost their earlier two matches against the Netherlands and Germany by identical margins while they held England 1-1 in controversial circumstances. They will now play for 9-12 classification.
For the hosts, Pilor Sanchez scored in the 30th and 43rd minutes after Silvio Munoz opened the account in the 10th minute while Surinder Kaur and Saba Anjum found the net for India in the 17th and 48th minutes.
With today's loss, India have one point from four matches and are just above bottom-placed China against whom they play their last match tomorrow.
With nine points from four matches, Spain are second in the pool behind table toppers the Netherlands -- who have 12 points from four matches and have already qualified for the last four-- and they need a draw in their last match against England tomorrow to move into the semis.
England and two-time champions Germany -- who play the Netherlands tomorrow -- are third and fourth with seven and six points respectively from four matches.
Going into the match in search of their first win in the competition, India matched their rivals in the first half but lost their way in the second session. Spain got as many as eight penalty-corners and converted two while India got two and failed to convert both.
Spain surged ahead in the 10th minute from a quick counter attack when Silvia Munoz broke free, drew out Indian goalkeeper Helen Mary and calmly flicked the ball into the net (1-0).
Not to be disheartened, India pressed hard for the equaliser and earned a penalty-corner in the 12th minute, but Asunta Lakra's shot was cleared by a Spanish defender.
Surinder Kuar and Jyoti Sunita Kullu continued to mount pressure and they were rewarded as Kaur knocked in a loose ball into the net in the 17th minute after it was mis-played by the Spain goalie, Maria Jesus Rosa (1-1).
India earned a penalty-corner in the 19th minute but Deepika's shot was saved by Spain keeper Rosa.
Another chance came in India's way and from a counter attack Jasjeet Kaur Handa poached onto a loose ball in Spain circle but her reverse flick just went wide.
Spain took the lead again in 30th minute through a penalty-corner by Pilar Sanchez, who deflected the shot taken by Maria Romagosa (2-1).
Sanchez made it 3-1 by scoring her second goal of the match in the 43rd minute through a penalty-corner, in a replay of her first goal, deflecting the ball high into the net.
The gritty Indians fought back with Saba Anjum pulling one back in the 48th minute to push harder for an equaliser.
But Spain's defence stood firm and the Indian frontline lacked sharpness and clinical finishing as the hosts saw through the remaining minutes without further damage.
Earlier in the same pool matches, hat-tricks by Sylvia Karres and Kim Lammers helped formidable Netherlands trounce China 6-1 to book a semi-final berth while England shocked Germany 1-0.
For the Netherlands, Karres scored in the 16th, 34th and 42nd minutes while Lammers slammed two goals in the 47th minute and the third in the 66th minutes. Ma Yi Bo scored the lone goal for China in the 58th minute.
For England, Helen Richardson converted a penalty stroke in 38th minute to shatter German dreams.UNI