Team India thrashes South Africa, Rani Rampal scores on return

Team India thrashes South Africa, Rani Rampal scores on return

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In the opening match of the four-game series on Monday in Cape Town, South Africa, the Indian Women's Hockey Team outclassed South Africa 5-1. Rani, Monika, Navneet Kaur (24'), Gurjit Kaur (25'), and Sangita Kumari (30') scored goals for India, while Quanita Bobbs (44') scored for South Africa.

Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke, the diligent midfielder who was chosen to start this match against South Africa, played on the field for the first time as a senior. For the young athlete who commanded the Indian Women's Junior Team at the Uniphar U23 5 Nations Tournament in May, it was a historic event.

Early in the quarter, India immediately settled into their passing rhythm and forced South Africa back into their own half. Rani (12'), who skillfully converted a penalty corner to give the Indian Women's Hockey team a 1-0 lead, gave India the lead.

Soon later, the opening period came to a finish as India had a slim advantage going into the first break.

India dominated possession in the opening minutes of the second quarter and created opportunities at will. As Monika (20') began India's onslaught, they quickly added four more goals.

After an outstanding team play, Navneet Kaur (24') gently put the ball into the net to make it 3-0 in India's favour.

In the 25th minute, Gurjit Kaur skillfully converted a penalty to increase the Indian Women's Hockey team's advantage while the South African players were finding it difficult to establish themselves in the game.

Sangita Kumari expertly deflected the ball into the goal from a penalty corner just before the quarter came to a finish (30') to further increase the Indian Women's Hockey team's lead. India had a commanding 5-0 lead at the halfway point.

India kept trying to score goals after the half while continuously pressuring the opponents. South Africa was gradually becoming more involved in the game in the third quarter despite India's persistent push as they started to maintain the ball better.

Quanita Bobbs' expert conversion of a penalty corner in the 44th second gave South Africa a chance to get one back and make it 5-1. South Africa began to show hints of a comeback as the third quarter came to a conclusion, but India continued to seem confident with a 4-goal lead.

In the last round of play, India sought to widen its lead while South Africa sought a thrilling conclusion in an effort to salvage something from the contest. South Africa was trying to win the game, but India was keeping the ball with skill.

The game ended with a score of 5-1 in favour of the Indian Women's Hockey Team because neither team managed to score in the fourth quarter. On Tuesday at 2000 IST, the Indian Women's Hockey Team will play South Africa once more.

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