The fine run of the Indian girls in the Hockey World League Round 2 came to an end on Friday as they lost to Japan 4-5 in shoot-out at the National Stadium.
The teams were locked 2-2 at the end of regulation period. Both India and Japan have 10 points each. After dominating the last three league matches, the home team was clueless for a majority of the first half. After losing ground in the initial stages, India made a comeback in the second half, but failed to recover lost ground. They were successful in breaching the Japanese citadel in the last eight minutes.
Japan began the contest on a positive note, scoring in the third minute. Superior fitness and deft stick-work enabled them to dominate the first half. All this while, India remained clueless, only directing their energies to keep the Japanese at bay. After the break, India took possession of the ball several times and raided the Japanese territory.
When all seemed lost for the hosts, Soundarya Yendala scored a penalty-corner goal in the 62nd minute to reduce the margin. Three minutes later, Anupa Barla made it 2-2 all. Japan finally prevailed in the shoot-out, scoring three goals while India could convert two. Meanwhile, security had been tightened at the venue following bomb blasts at Hyderabad on Thursday.