India shocked higher-ranked Spain 4-2 to enter the semi-finals in the Junior women’s hockey World Cup for the first time in Monchengladbach, Germany, on Thursday.
Down by an early goal, the Indians rallied splendidly and scored twice in each half through Monika (10th minute), Navneet Kaur (34th), Vandana Katariya (41st) and Rani (48th) to emerge triumphant.
Xantal Gine (7th minute) and captain Berta Bonastra (30th) accounted for Spain's goals.
The Spanish girls opened the scoring when Gine converted a penalty-corner in the seventh minute, but India restored parity three minutes later through a field effort from Monika.
Spain restored their lead five minutes from half-time through Bonastra, but Navneet made sure India would cross over on even terms with a reverse stick shot in the dying minutes of the opening half.
After the change of ends, India surged ahead in the 41st minute when Katariya converted a penalty-corner.
Seven minutes later Rani extended the lead (4-2) to put the Indians in command.
With 22 minutes left in the game, Spain pressed hard but India’s defence stood firm.
India will take on the winners of the last quarter-final, between the Netherlands and South Africa, in Friday’s semi-finals.