Hockey World Cup | India breach Italy’s strong defence to reach quarter-finals

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Hockey World Cup | India breach Italy’s strong defence to reach quarter-finals

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SportsCafe Desk

08/01/2018

Indian women’s hockey team has outclassed the Italian side by three goals without reply in the Hockey World Cup at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre. This performance has earned the Indians a quarter-final clash on Thursday against Ireland, who beat India 1-0 in the group stages.

Italy, who had lost their previous game 1-12 to the Netherlands, and India had a slow and patchy start with a lot of long passes going out of bounds. India won their first penalty corner in the ninth minute but couldn't convert the opportunity as the Italian defence stood firm and deflected the ball away from danger. However, the Indian’s made full use of the resulting long corner with Lalremsiami outfoxing the Italian goalkeeper to give her team an early breakthrough.

India’s first goal titled the moment in their favour as the Italian’s never looked like they could bounce back. The latter hardly made any circle entries until out of desperation in the last quarter.

The Indians, meanwhile, did not let their opponents settle down and came close to scoring on a number of occasions. Later on, they earned five more penalty corners and converted two of them with Neha Goyal (45’) and Vandana Katariya (55’) helping their team to a convincing victory.

India’s only appearance in a World Cup semi-final was in 1974 (inaugural edition). A victory against Ireland in the quarter-final will break this 48-year-old unwanted record.

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