Hockey WC: India eves lose to Ireland in penalty shootout

London: Playing a first quarter final since 1978, the Indian Women’s hockey team crashed out of the Women’s World Cup on Thursday as they were pipped by Ireland in the penalty shootout.
A goalless game was hotly contested right till the end, with the Irish bettering the Indians in creating meaningful chances. They made six circle penetrations, one more than India in the first and second quarters, although the Indian defense withstood their attacks well.

Ireland started the third quarter strongly, not allowing India to settle in possession and stretching India’s defence on numerous occasions, threatening to take the lead. The Indians, however, managed to avert danger time and again, most notably in their defending of a free-hit that was directed in the circle and looked destined to end in the goal minutes from the end of the third quarter.

Indian got their best chance to score a goal when they were awarded a penalty corner in the final quarter, although, Irish goalkeeper Ayeisha McFerran made a good save from Indian captain Rani Rampal, and the score was still tied when the referee blew the whistle to mark the end of regulation time, with a penalty shootout to follow.

Ireland’s Nicola Dailya and Anna O’Flanagan along with India’s Rani and Monika Malik missed their respective penalty shots before Upton Roisin put the Irish in the lead.
Navjot Kaur failed to convert the following attempt, with McFerran making a good save, while Meeke Alison made it 2-0 for Ireland.

After Reena Khokhar scored to give India some hopes, India failed to keep the decisive penalty out, thus booking Ireland’s berth in the semi-final against Spain. (ANI)