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CWG 2022: India’s big hockey debut, women’s hockey team beat Ghana by 5 goals


Birmingham: Indian Women’s Hockey The team began their campaign with victory at the Commonwealth Games after beating lower-ranked Ghana 5-0 here on Friday. The team managed by Savita Poonia, however, did not look so impressive in their first Pool A match. For the team, Gurjit Kaur scored two goals in the 3rd and 39th minutes while Neha Goyal scored the 28th, Sangeeta Kumari the 36th and Salima Tete scored the home goals in the 56th minute.

Penalty corner conversion issue

Although India dominated in all departments of the game, they had a poor show in the first two quarters as Ghana’s defense disappointed a higher ranked team with a strong performance. Most frustrating for India was the weak link between the midfield and the front line. The trend of not converting penalty corners into goals also continued and the Indian team could only capitalize on a 1 in 10 chance. In this match, the Indian team was expected to win by a wide margin, but Ghanaian keeper Abigail Boye made excellent defenses to keep her team in the game, in which her backline also supported her.

First goal scored in the third minute itself

The Indian team showed aggression from the start of the match and took the lead from the third minute thanks to Gurjeet’s goal from the first penalty corner. Soon the team also got a second penalty corner but Ghana’s defense was excellent with Boye making another defense. Immediately before the end of the first quarter, India were awarded a penalty stroke for a foul inside “D”, but Ghana contested the decision and went through. Also in the second quarter, India launched strong attacks but Ghana kept up the pressure.

India’s relentless attacks

The Indians continued to attack but the Ghanaian backline held firm to thwart them. Ghana were awarded a penalty corner three minutes before half-time but they failed to get past India captain Savita. Ghana had another chance which they missed. The Indians doubled their lead in the next minute through Neha, who fired the deflection off a Ghanaian defender to put him straight into the goal. Neha had a chance again but Ghanaian keeper Boye defended it brilliantly.

Hit fifth base four minutes before the whistle

Three minutes after halftime, India scored two penalty corners but both fell short. Sangita Kumari scored in the 36th minute to triple India’s lead. The team soon got another penalty corner but couldn’t take advantage of it. Gurjeet made it 4-0 in the 39th minute. India again got four penalty corners but lost all their chances. Four minutes before the whistle, Salima deflected Ghanaian captain Nafisatu Umaru’s stick, which went straight into the goal. India will face Wales in their second pool game on Saturday.

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