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Rediff.com  » Sports » Women's hockey team stuns Olympic champs England

Women's hockey team stuns Olympic champs England

Last updated on: April 08, 2018 10:03 IST
Sunita Lakra
IMAGE: India's Sunita Lakra clears the ball during the match against England, at the Commonwealth Games. Photograph: Hockey India/Twitter

The Indian women's hockey team rallied from a goal down to script a stunning 2-1 victory over Olympic champions England in its third Pool A match at the 21st Commonwealth Games, in Gold Coast, on Sunday.

India, hoping to do better than the fifth-place finish in the last two Games’ editions, are now second on the points table, behind England and look set to qualify for the semi-finals.

 

Gurjit Kaur and Navneet Kaur scored India in the 42nd and 48th minute after England captain Alexandra Danson had put her team ahead just 35 seconds into the game.

"This is the first time we beat England; they are the (Rio 2016) Olympic champions, so we are very happy," India captain Rani Rampal said after the match.

"It's always a special moment and achievement when you beat the Olympic champions. We've had very little chance to compete against them, and today was our day. We had to grab the chances and work hard," she added.

IMAGE: India's players celebrate after scoring a goal at the Commonwealth Games. Photograph: Phil Walter/Getty Images

The Indian women's hockey team started poorly in the tournament, going down to lower-ranked Wales, but has since recovered, beating Malaysia and now England.

After conceding the early goal, India defended stoically in the first-half and ensured that the gap did not widen between the two sides.

In the second-half, Gurjit converted the only penalty-corner earned to bring the side back into the match.

Just six minutes later, forward Navneet scored what turned out to be the winning goal.

"It is awesome; we worked hard the whole game. We defended hard in the first half and held them. We came out more aggressive in the second half and put on the pressure," said Rani.

The 22-year-old Navneet said scoring against the Olympic champions is easily among the biggest moments of her career.

"It's my first biggest memorable moment; I have more confidence now for the next games. We're going to win all the matches from now on.

"We lost to Wales, so this match was important for us to win, to get to the semi-finals," she added.