Junior India eves enter hockey World Cup semis
India advanced to the semifinal of the FIH Women's Hockey Junior World Cup with a 4-2 win over Spain yesterday.
In the quarter-final, Spain took an early lead through Xantal Gine when she converted a penalty corner in the seventh minute. India came back quickly and levelled the scores three minutes later through Monika.
Spain skipper Bonastre Berta put them ahead again in the 30th minute but India retaliated and got back to level terms just at the stroke of half time with Navneet Kaur scoring in the 34th minute.
The second half belonged to India as they breezed to a 4-2 lead by the 48th minute with goals from Vandana Kataria and Rani and secured a last-four berth for the first time in the tournament.
This is India’s best performance so far in this tournament, the previous best being ninth in 2001 and 2009. India’s chief coach Neil Hawgood attributed the women’s team’s success to the experience his wards have attained while playing at the senior level.
“The success has come from all the big losses as we have been beaten by top teams of the world in World League Round 3.
“Now, the senior level experience has helped the girls here at the Junior World Cup,” a jubilant Hawgood was quoted as saying by PTI.