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FIH Pro League: India women defeat USA via shootout

Source: PTI
February 18, 2024 23:19 IST
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IMAGE: India picked up a win over USA via shootout. Photograph: Hockey India/X

A day after upsetting world No.3 Australia, India women once again played an entertaining and fast-paced brand of hockey to defeat the United States 2-1 via shootout in an FIH Pro League match in Rourkela on Sunday.

The regulation period ended in a 1-1 stalemate with India scoring in the 19th minute through young drag-flicker Deepika Kumari and the US equalising through Ashley Seesa in the 45th minute.


Mumtaz Khan and Sonika were on target in the shootout, while Leah Crouse scored for the losing team.

Despite the win, the Indian chief coach, Janneke Schopman, would be unhappy with the way the Savita Punia-led side dominated for most part and still could not win the contest in regulation time despite earning several penalty corners.

The win on Sunday came after India had thrashed the US 3-1 in the Bhubaneswar leg of the Pro League. The victory would have soothed the nerves of the 20,000-odd crowd at the stadium, who saw US score the equaliser in the dying minutes of the third quarter.

India completed their Pro League engagements at home with five defeats and three wins -- twice against the USA and once against Australia.

Having defeated Australia on Saturday at the same venue, the Indians definitely had spring in their steps but they displayed the tendency to hang on to the ball for far too long and their penalty corner conversion remained abysmal.

Four minutes into the second quarter India earned their first PC, and Deepika punched in the goal, sending a solid and low shot that hit the bottom-right corner of the goal.

The US team was a bundle of energy all through and desperately tried to get back into the game, but against the run of play, India earned three more penalty corners before the end of the second quarter, all of which were not utilised.

In the closing moments of the third quarter, the Americans went for a penalty-corner variation and succeeded.

Alexandra Hammel went for the shot and Savita went on her knees to make the save. However, Ashley, who had made the PC injection, had by then swiftly made her way towards goal. With the rebound falling awkwardly, the American dived forward to send a lovely looped shot over the goalkeeper and into the net.

The fourth quarter did not yield any goal though a desperate Lalremsiami played in a cross from the right but the American defence was firm.

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