Commonwealth Games 2022: Vandana's brace hands India second consecutive win in Hockey
Vandana Katariya scored a brace and Gurjit Kaur scored one as India dominated Wales in a 3-1 win and reach the top of the Group A
Vandana Katariya scored a brace as the Indian women's hockey team defeated Wales 3-1 to record its second successive win in Pool A at the Commonwealth Games here. India scored all their three goals from penalty corners with Vandana finding the net twice, while Gurjit Kaur fired in a fierce drag-flick on Saturday.
The Indians were the much better side on display as they controlled the game from the start to finish, barring a few phases. Penalty corner conversion continued to be a concern for India as they made use of three out of the seven they earned in the match. Wales, on the other hand, utilised the only chance they got in the game with Xenna Hughes on the target.
The Indians attacked the Wales citadel continuously from the world go but they failed to find the finishing touches from the moves. Wales goalkeeper Roseanne Thomas played a superb game and if not for her, the scoreline could have been much bigger in favour of India. The Indians dominated in terms of ball possession and attacking play but their efforts yielded no result in the first quarter.
India secured their first penalty corner as early as the second minute of the match but Monika's try was saved by Welsh gaolkeeper Thomas. In the 13th minute, Lalremsiami's fierce shot from the top of the circle was saved by Thomas. India kept up the pressure and continued to attack, resulting in another penalty corner in the 26th minute and this time, they were successful as Vandana neatly deflected in Gurjit's flick.
Two minutes later, India earned another penalty corner and Gurjit was bang on target with a powerful low flick to the right of Wales keeper Thomas. The Indians continued their attacking display after the change of ends. India earned another penalty corner and they went for a variation but Deep Grace's slap shot was easily padded away by Thomas. In the very next minute, an alert Thomas made a fine save to deny Vandana's fierce reverse hit from inside the circle. In the 44th minute, Navneet Kaur laid it for Sharmila Devi but the latter's reverse hit from close range was padded away by alert Thomas in Wales's goal.
Wales got their only chance of the match in the form of a penalty corner 13 seconds from the third quarter and Hughes found the back of the Indian net after getting a deflection of Grace's foot. In the 47th minute, India secured their sixth penalty corner but Gurjit's sweep shot was saved by Thomas. Minutes later, India earned another penalty corner and this time Monika's powerful slap shot was deflected in by Vandana to hand India a 3-1 lead, which they managed to keep intact to notch up their second win in the competition. India will next play hosts England on August 2.