CWG women’s hockey: India’s medal hopes diminish

By Anand Philar, IANS,

New Delhi: India’s medal hopes in women’s hockey took a severe beating despite their 7-0 win against Trinidad and Tobago at the Commonwealth Games here Friday.

Support TwoCircles

New Zealand became the first team to qualify for the semi-finals with a game in hand.

Coach Sandeep Somesh admitted as much when he, referring to the chances of India making it to the semi-finals, said: “It is a difficult task for us. We had a target and we fell short.”

India are currently placed third in pool A behind Australia and South Africa both of whom drew 1-1 earlier in the day to tie on points with seven apiece after three matches.

Australia are to play Scotland Saturday while India face South Africa. The calculators will be put to use at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium should India and Scotland win as it would lead to a four-way tie and the goal difference would come into play.

The South Africans have a goal-difference of 13 to Australia’s 12, India’s six and Scotland’s four. The numbers demand that India and Scotland win by massive margins to progress to the medal rounds.

Surinder Kaur’s four-goal blitz featured India’s runaway win against the Caribbean champions on Friday while Ritu Rani, Rani Rampal and Jasjeet Kaur knocked in one each, but the team wasted twice as many opportunities due to poor finish.

As for Trinidad and Tobago, their tournament is virtually over save the game for 9-10 positions as they lost all their four league matches.

In pool B, the Kiwis outplayed England 4-1, courtesy a hat-trick by Katie Glynn, for their third consecutive win that took their tally to nine points and confirmed them a berth in the semi-finals.

The result left England placed on six points and they have a tricky game against Malaysia (3 points) Saturday. Their comparatively healthy goal-difference of three should see England through unless Malaysia (minus 5) win by at least an eight-goal margin.

Later, Canada, trailing 0-1 with about two minutes left on the clock, struck twice for a 2-1 victory against Wales who thus finished their league engagements on three points.

Canada too have three points from as many matches and will play New Zealand Saturday.