Last-minute goals by Great Britain prevents India a series win
Despite leading the match by 2-0, Indian women's hockey team gives away two goals in 5 minutes before the full-time, which deny them a golden opportunity of a series win against England.
As dramatic as it could be, the Indian women's hockey team gives away two goals in the last 5 minutes that stops Rani Rampal led side a series win against Great Britain in their Tour to England in Marlow on Friday. England won a penalty corner with a minute left for full-time buzzer, which they converted to level the match 2-2.
The experienced forward Navjot Kaur opened the scoreline for India during the halfway mark of the opening quarter as she slammed a shot across the opponents' goalkeeper to find the net. The Rani Rampal led team maintained their lead till the end of the opening quarter.
The hosts dominated the possession in the second quarter and eventually was awarded four penalty corners, which they failed to convert owing to the rock-solid goalkeeping by India's Savita. Great Britain were denied the opportunity to equalise and the match reached half-time mark with India still maintaining their narrow lead.
India maintained their lead but miss out on an opportunity to double it in Quarter 3. With the proceedings going to the final quarter, England were on the prowl to equalise and level for India. But India was awarded a Penalty Corner in the 48th minute. The ace drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur made no mistake this time and slammed the ball straight into the nets to double India's lead. More drama was left in the match as England scored from a penalty corner, five minutes before full-time to make the scoreline 2-1. England win another PC witha minute left and Anna Toman did the job for the hosts to deny India a series win.
India's ever-reliable bulwark, Arjuna-awardee goalkeeper, Savita, achieved the milestone of completing 200 International Caps for the country on Friday. Since making her debut at the Spar Cup Four Nations Tournament in Durban, South Africa in 2009, Savita has come up the ranks and has cemented her place in the team with some top-quality performances over the years. Savita was 20-years-old at the time of making her senior team debut, as she caught the attention of the selectors during her junior days with some age-defying performances, and a sharp presence of mind.
The Indian women's hockey team started their campaign against Great Britain by defeating the hosts 2-1, thanks to goals by Sharmila Devi and Gurjit Kaur. Both the teams played to draw 1-1 and 0-0 in the second and third matches, respectively. The home side got the better off the visitors in the fourth match as India was defeated 1-3. The series wins come as the morale boost for coach. With the final match concluding at 2-2, the series stood levelled.
The Indian Men's Hockey team will be vying for an Olympic berth when they take on Russia in the crucial FIH Olympic Qualifiers to be held on November 1 and 2 at the iconic Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar. For the very first time, the Indian Women's Hockey team too will be playing in front of the hockey-loving people of Odisha when they take on USA in the FIH Olympic Qualifiers at the Kalinga Stadium on November 1 and 2. The excitement among the teams is palpable and they are working towards peaking at this important event. Having represented India at the Rio Olympics after 36 years, the women's team will be aiming to take part in their second consecutive Olympics in the history of Indian hockey and they are confident of making history. Make sure you witness history unfold at the Kalinga Stadium by booking your tickets.