Tokyo– The Indian women’s hockey team wasted a bagful of chances, including a penalty stroke, to go down 2-0 in a women’s hockey Group A match at the Tokyo Olympics on Monday. This is India’s second defeat in a row after the loss against the Netherlands.
Nike Lorenz (12th minute) scored off a penalty corner in the first quarter and Anne Katarina Schroder (35th minute) scored in the third quarter as Germany won their second successive match after beating Great Britain 2-1 on Sunday.
Though the Germans won the match, the Indians put up a good fight with some better work by the forwards. Some luck could have at least earned India one point from this match.
The Indians played their hearts out against Germany, ranked third in the world. Attackers Sharmila Devi and Vandana Katariya failed to convert at least three chances each.
Germany enjoyed possession in the opening minutes of the first quarter before India’s Sharmila Devi found a way to make a fantastic run on the left flank in the fourth minute. However, the German defence kept Indians at bay.
Thereafter, the German side put more pressure on the Indian goal, driving the ball through the middle in the 7th minute, but the Indian defence stood tall and kept the ball away from the goal.
Sharmila made another brilliant run, this time through the middle of the pitch, and passed the ball to Udita. The striker dived forward to attempt a deflection but failed to do so.
A few moments later, the Germans earned a penalty corner and captain Nike Lorenz (12′) didn’t miss out on the opportunity to help Germany take 1-0 lead.
The world No. 3 side had a chance to score early in the second quarter, but the Indian defence kept the ball away from the goal. The Germans continued to put pressure. However, the Indian defence stood tall and ensured that they didn’t concede any more goals.
The world No. 3 side earned a penalty corner in the 6th minute of the third quarter. They took a shot, but it was calmly deflected away by Salima Tete.
Thereafter, Vandana Katariya made a fantastic run on the left flank in the 10th minute of the second quarter. However, she couldn’t find a way to open India’s account. The Indians put more pressure on the Germans, but the German defence proved to be too strong.
The Indians started the third quarter aggressively and earned their first penalty corner. Skipper Rani Rampal took the shot and the ball deflected off Lisa Altenburg’s thigh. A stroke was awarded to India on video referral but Gurjit Kaur failed to convert the golden chance to make the score 1-1.
A few minutes later, Germany scored their second goal when Anne Schröder (35′) took a fantastic shot from the right to put it past Indian goalkeeper Savita.
The Indians went in search for a goal but some good work by the German defence and goalkeeper thwarted them.
Vandana made a brilliant intercept and made a run all the way to the goal, but her shot was saved by the German goalkeeper. India continued to put pressure on the Germans but just couldn’t find a way to get on the board.
India had another chance in the fourth quarter when Navneet Kaur made a good run on the right flank and put Vandana in the clear, who however looped the ball over the bar.
The Germans earned another penalty corner but Lorenz’s shot was blocked by Monika. The Indians made a few more attempts in the final quarter but could not find a way past the German defence.(IANS)