India’s Vandana Kataria, right, celebrates after scoring her team’s first goal during the women’s hockey semi-final match between Australia and India at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, Friday, August 5, 2022. (AP/PTI)
Birmingham: It was a heartbreak for the Indian women’s hockey team as they lost 0-3 in a penalty shootout to four-times defending champions Australia after the teams tied 1-1 at the end of regulation time in the Commonwealth Games semi-finals on Friday.
Australia took the lead in the 10th minute through Rebecca Greiner, before Vandana Kataria equalized for India in the 49th minute.
The Indians, who have not yet conceded a goal in the tournament, defended the numbers to keep their record clean. India made an attacking start and had their first chance in the eighth minute but Australia survived the shave.
Australia took the lead in the 10th minute, thanks to a defensive attack from India as Greiner veered into Ambrosia Malone’s cross.
Australia secured the first penalty kick in the next minute, but Monica saved the knockout. Two minutes later, India got a second penalty but missed the opportunity.
Australia started strong in the second quarter and put pressure on the Indian defense from the start but the team led by Savita Punya maintained its structure. The Indians were not left behind as they secured a third penalty kick in the 21st minute, but Georgette Kaur’s ball was saved by Australian goalkeeper Alisha Power.
Three minutes later, the ball again blocked Sangeeta Kumari’s reverse shot from the top of the circle. In the 24th minute, India secured another penalty kick but the Australians defended the numbers to spend the first half with a 1-0 lead.
The quarter-final also produced a fight between the two sides and in the 44th minute Australia secured five penalties in a row but India captain, goalkeeper Savita and defense put in a valiant display to deny their opponents any further lead.
One minute into the final quarter, Savita again came to India’s rescue to dodge Stephanie Kershaw’s attempt. The Indians did not lose their courage and continued to launch escalating raids on the Australian defense that withered for the first time in the competition in the 49th minute when Vandana Kataria delicately veered into Sushila Chanu’s defense to split the free kick from outside the circle to tie the results.
India secured another penalty kick in the 51st minute but once again Power saved a great penalty to deny Gurjit. And within a minute’s distance of Australia, two penalties, but Savita saved a powerful blow from the first attempt as the Indians defended from their skin to lead the match to a penalty shootout.
But it turned out to be a head-to-head shootout for India as Lal Reemesyamy, Neha Goyal and Navneet Kaur all missed their first three attempts, while Australia made use of all their chances to meet hosts England in the final. .
However, the Indians should consider themselves unlucky as Mallon initially missed her first attempt for Australia but the judges gave her a second chance as the clock did not start on time. Kaitlyn Nobbs and Amy Lawton were the other scorers for the Hockeyros in the penalty shootout.
In the other semi-final, England beat New Zealand 2-0 in a penalty shootout after the two teams failed to break the deadlock in the organizational system 60 minutes. India will now play New Zealand in the bronze medal match on Sunday.
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