Indian women lose 1-2 to Aus, semifinal hopes hangs in balance
India's chances of progressing to the semifinals of the women's hockey event in the Commonwealth Games received a setback after the home team went down fighting 1-2 to defending champions Australia in their second Pool A match in New Delhi on Wednesday.india Updated: Oct 06, 2010 16:21 IST
India's chances of progressing to the semifinals of the women's hockey event in the Commonwealth Games received a setback after the home team went down fighting 1-2 to defending champions Australia in their second Pool A match in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Shelly Liddelow (11th minute) and Ashleigh Nelson (59th) scored for Australia while promising Rani Rampal (69th) pulled one back for India.
Last edition runners-up India had earlier drawn 1-1 with lowly Scotland while Australia had thrashed Trinidad and Tobago 11-0.
India will next face Trinidad and Tobago on Friday while Australia will be up against South Africa.
Unlike their previous outing against Scotland, India displayed a much-improved performance and started the match on an attacking note.
Dipika Murthy was impressive for India in front of goal as she thwarted numerous Australian attacks with her individual brilliance.
In the first 10 minutes, it was India all the way as they repeatedly threatened the Australian goal and created numerous chances but they were found wanting in giving finishing touches.
Chanchan Devi got the first opportunity to send the home team ahead in the third minute after captain Surinder Kaur and veteran Saba Anjum combined well on the right flank to set her up but the Manipuri girl failed to connect Anjum's parallel cross.
Both India and Australia wore a sorry look in penalty corners as both the teams earned as many as six of them in the opening period but failed to convert a single.
However, it was the Hockeyroos who broke the deadlock in the 13th minute through Liddelow following some sloppy defending inside the circle by the Indians.
The goal seemed to have rejuvenated the Australians, who dominated the middle period of the opening half during which they earned three back-to-back penalty corners but failed to utilise a single one.
India too got their share of opportunities in the dying moments of the first half with two consecutive penalty corners but on both occasion their variation did not work.
The script of the second half, however, was different as Australia had the better ball possession while the Indians were guilty of holding on to the ball too long and then losing it.
Inspite of Australia's dominance, Indian women got chances but what eluded them was the all-important equaliser.