Indian women swamp Thailand to stay in medal hunt

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Captain Surinder Kaur pumped in four goals to power India to a thumping 13-0 victory over minnows Thailand in the Asian Games women’s hockey round robin league to keep themselves in the reckoning for a bronze medal here on Friday.

India, who were tied on points with Kazakhstan going into the must-win match, improved their chances by logging three points from their second victory in four matches to boost their tally to six and in fourth position.

The other goal-scorers for India in the one-sided match, in which they were 7-0 up at half time, were Rani Rampal (3) and Subhadra Pradhan (2) while Chanchan Devi, Anjum Saba, Poonam Rani and Joydeep Kaur scored once each.

All but five of the goals came from the field, while the set-pieces were converted by Subadhra (2 penalty corner), Rani Rampal (penalty corner), Joyddeep (penalty corner) and Surinder Kaur (penalty stroke).

India, champions in 1982, have lost 0-1 and 0-3 to South Korea and Japan and defeated Malaysia 4-0 earlier in the tournament.

For India, the goal-glut began when Chanchan Devi fired into the rival goal in the 12th minute which was increased by one when Saba Anjum three minutes later.

Five more goals followed in the later part of the first half with Rani, Subadhra, Surinder – who pushed home from the spot before adding another through a field effort in the space of three minutes and Poonam.

After crossing over, Rani converted a penalty corner in the 42nd minute to make it 8-0.

India had to wait for another 15 minutes to add to that tally and then pumped in four more goals in the last ten minutes.

They earned as many as a dozen penalty corners but could convert only three of them which, coach Sandeep Somesh, said was because the plans were not implemented properly.

He said that the next match against Kazakhstan scheduled for tomorrow has become very crucial in order to keep their medal chances alive.

“We have improved our (bronze medal) chances It depends now on how well we play against the Kazaks,” he said.

Surinder Kaur said the Indians¿ target today was to get 20 goals and they scored seven less than what they aimed for.

“It was still too little. Our target was 20 since Thailand is a weak team,” Surinder said.

“We do have a problem in our penalty corner conversion. Again our penalty corner plan was spot on but the execution was a big problem. I’m very glad we delivered impressively today. It was a good game,” Somesh added.

Somesh said the team had time after Saturday’s game to chalk out plans for the tough outing against China against whom he felt the defense should perform well.

“After tomorrow we will have time to consider the tough game against China on Monday. China is very fast and we need to do better in defense,” he said.

Two Indian players were injured — Joydeep Kaur and Rosalind Ralte — during the match, which virtually ruled them out of tomorrow’s tie and made them doubtful to take the field against China.

Kaur twisted her ankle while Rosalind’s injury – the result of the ball striking her leg powerfully — is more serious, according to coach Somesh.

“She (Kaur) twisted her ankle and I am not sure whether she will participate in Monday’s match against China,” the Indian captain said.

“Yes, it (leg injury) is quite serious and it’s very unlikely she can play tomorrow’s game. It’s too bad we have two injuries. Let’s wait and see whether she (Rosalind) can make it for the game against China in three days,” coach Somesh said.
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This post was submitted by Mudit Agrawal.

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