Eves stun Olympic champs England

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 09 Apr 2018 11:20:13




THE Indian women’s hockey team rallied from a goal down to script a stunning 2-1 triumph over Olympic champions England in its third Pool A match of the 21st Commonwealth Games.India, aiming to do better than the fifth-place finish at the last two CWG editions, are now second on the points table behind England and look set to qualify for the semi-finals.Gurjit Kaur and Navneet Kaur sounded the board for India in the 42nd and 48th minute after England captain Alexandra Danson had put her team ahead just 35 seconds into the game.“This is the first time we have beaten England, they are the Olympic champions so we are very happy,” India captain Rani Rampal said after the match.“It’s always a special moment and achievement when you beat the Olympic champions. We’ve had very little chance to compete against them, and today was our day. We had to grab the chances and work hard,” she added.

The Indian women’s hockey team had started poorly in the event by going down to lower-ranked Wales but has since recovered, beating Malaysia and now England.The team, after conceding the early goal, defended stoically in the first half to ensure that the gap didn’t widen between the two sides. The commitment of the Indian players to thwart English attacks was exemplified by midfielder Nikki Pradhan, who took a blow to her face in a defending attempt. She was left with a bloodied mouth.Men scrape past Wales SV SUNIL’S oodles of experience came in handy as his 59th minute strike enabled India to pip a gritty Wales 4-3 in their second pool B encounter at the Commonwealth Games.

Sunil found the back of the net off a rebound after the Wales custodian had parried away Rupinderpal Singh’s dragflick. Unlike the drawn game against Pakistan, the Indian defence held their nerves during the final minute to log home full points.Dilpreet Singh (16th), Mandeep Singh (28th), Harmanpreet Singh (57th) were other Indian scorers.For Wales, Gareth Furlong scored a hat-trick to snatch India’s lead on three occasions (17th, 45th and 58th), converting three out of the four penalty corners that Wales earned thus keeping his team’s hopes alive for the better part of the match.Captain Manpreet Singh said, “We didn’t expect a tough game. We missed a few good chances and made it harder for ourselves. We shouldn’t have given them easy penalty corners. We need to fix our defensive structure.”