- Hands Chaturvedi
- senior sports journalist
The Indian women’s hockey team could not live up to the expectations of the FIH Women’s Hockey World Championship.
His campaign stopped after being defeated by the only goal of the cross game at the hands of Spain. He could not repeat the performance of the last World Cup and this time he could not advance to the quarterfinals.
Indian captain and goalkeeper Savita Poonia did her best to save the goal throughout the match. But he failed to save the goal four minutes before the end of the match and it was enough to stop the Indian trip.
The Spaniard Clara entered the circle with the ball and hit the goal, the ball bounced from the pills of Savita Poonia, who was caught by Segu Marta and broke the goal. Spain will now face Australia in the quarterfinals. At the same time, the Indian team, which has been out of the tournament, will face Canada for ninth to 16th place on July 11th.
The way Sreejesh is considered an impenetrable wall in Indian men’s hockey. The same image is of Savita Poonia in women’s hockey. However, he was unable to perform according to his image at pool matches.
But today she seemed absolutely ready for her role. Spain’s attack in the second half meant at least four times that it looked like Spain could have scored, but Savita Punia’s brilliant defense prevented Spain from getting ahead. But in the end, Spain managed to destroy this wall.
Savita’s efforts also didn’t save the team from trouble, as Indian defenders were unable to defend themselves in the final two quarters.
In fact, the Spanish team, which played repressed in the first two quarters, saw a team completely changed in the last two quarters, which kept the Indian defense dispersed by making strong attacks. In fact, the real test of any defense is only in trouble and Indian defenders Gurjit Kaur and Deep Grace Ekka were unable to succeed in this test.
Nikki Pradhan and Salima Tete were also unable to come to the rescue in time, as Spain’s attacks intensified in the final quarter. Being busy defending the second half line, the Indian attacks fell completely and Spain also took advantage of that. In the real sense, we need to work on the recovery of Indian players.
Vandana’s failure became the reason for the defeat
Vandana Kataria is considered the lifeblood of Indian attacks. The way India had taken the game by adopting an attacking stance at first. During this time, Vandana had chances to score at least two goals. But despite being in good shape to score on both occasions, he failed to fool Spanish goalkeeper Garcia Melanelle. If he had scored goals in the beginning, the image of this match would have been different.
India once again proved that they failed to convert the penalty corners. However, the Spanish defenders showed more intelligence when facing the Indian attackers and as a result, India was able to get only four penalty corners. But Indian specialist Drag Flicker Gurjit Kaur kept repeating the mistake of hitting the goal with a direct shot in that championship. If I had tried to make penalty corners indirectly, I could have gotten a much better result.
In the third minute of the last quarter, it looked like now India could barely escape the goal. On this occasion, Iglesias Bellen cracked the defense and arrived right in front of the goal and only Savita was left in front of him. But he failed to bring down Savita.
From the third quarter, the Spanish team seemed completely changed and began to attack the tie of India.
Under this pressure, there was a slight rage over the Indian players. That’s why our players proved that they sometimes kill them by making wrong passes while making the attack. But in terms of ending the attacks, his position remained the same as that of India.
Goalless draw until half time
The Indian team maintained control of the game by adopting an offensive stance in the first two quarters. But he failed to give this domain the shape of a goal. He failed to finish the attacks after reaching the circle. On the other hand, the weakness of not converting penalty corners into goals also showed no improvement in the first half. Prior to this match, the Indian team could only turn three of the 27 penalty corners into three matches.
Although India dominated the game most of the time during that half. But Spain endangered the Indian goal at least twice during this period by making counterattacks. But today the Indian goalkeeper Savita Poonia appeared ready, the third corner of Spain has been thrown three times in the goal but has been able to defend.
India started the game aggressively and managed to maintain control of the ball for most of the first quarter. But as in the pool matches, the lack of a proper finish to the attacks in that quarter was also clearly seen. Under the leadership of Vandana Katariya, the Indian players reached the account opening position at least twice, but the opportunities could not be seized.
The FIH rankings for India and Spain are back and forth. India currently ranks sixth and Spain seventh. Because of this, in recent games there has been a tie between the two teams. In February this year, at the FIH Pro League matches in Bhubaneswar, India won the first match 2-1 and Spain 4-3 in the second.
At the same time, India toured Spain in 2019 and played a series of four tests, in which both teams won one each and two matches were drawn. By the way, the Indian team in general is in a better position. In the 17 games played so far, India has won seven games and Spain has won five and drawn five. But Spain was able to turn this game in their favor by taking advantage of the fact of playing at home.