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China adds to India's agony
October 04, 2006 21:15 IST
India's miserable run in the women's hockey World Cup touched a new low as they went down 0-1 to minnows China in their last league match to finish at the bottom of Pool A in Madrid on Wednesday.
Having lost three games and managing to hold England, a lacklusture Indian team put up a dismal performance and finished their league fixture with just one point.
With this loss, India are in further trouble as they enter the play-off round as the last of the twelve teams participating in the high profile event.
China, who had lost all their league matches till now, shot into the lead after Fu Bao Rong slammed a goal in the 25th minutes of the first half which proved to be the match winner.
Both teams played an uneventful first half but it was the Chinese who not only had better ball control but were more organised in their defence.
India had too many problems to deal with. There was hardly any good goalscoring moves. The forwards were completely listless and incoherent for the entire duration of the game.
The Indians got as many as three penalty corners in the last ten minutes but could not capitalise on them.
China tasted success when Bao Rong, intercepting a pass, slammed the ball in the Indian net from close range with 10 minutes to go for the breather.
Before that an athletic Li Gao had kept the Indian defence busy and had almost scored when after a good run from the right she passed on the ball to Li Hong Xia, who failed to put it through.
India stepped up the gas but the moves were disorganised and lacked the sting to rattle the tight Chinese defence.
It looked India would come up firing in the second half, but it was the coach Maharaj Kaushik who looked more pumped up while giving frenetic calls from the sidelines then the entire team. His instructions, however, bore no fruit.
Five minutes into the second half, Jasjeet Singh came up with a spectacular run, penetrating the Chinese defence but hit a high ball that struck the post. That was perhaps India's best scoring opportunity.
The attempt failed to infuse spirit in the Indian team and it was China who was controlling the pace of the game.
They earned two penalty corners in the 54th and 55th minute but could not add on to the scoreline.
Sensing the big fall in the dying minutes of the game, India pushed themselves and reached the Chinese defence on a few occassion which fetched them three penalty corners but all of them went in vain.