2018 Commonwealth Games: Indian women’s hockey team lose 3-2 to Wales in opener
The Indian women’s hockey team’s campaign in the 2018 Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast got off to a disappointing start when they lost 2-3 to Wales in their opening Pool A match at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre on Thursday. (CWG Day 1 live updates)
Coach Harendra Singh’s team had reached Gold Coast with high hopes after a good away series win against Korea but were trailing 0-2 at half-time against a Wales side that has some players from Great Britain. They fought back in the third quarter by scoring twice.
They dominated the possession, got numerous shots at the goal but faltered in the final attempts. But in the end their efforts proved insufficient as they conceded a goal three minutes from end of play to start their campaign on losing note.
For Wales, Liza Dailey opened the score with a field goal in the 7th minute. That was the only goal of the first quarter as indian attempts to equalise proved futile. India had four penalty corners in succession but Gurjit Kaur was thwarted by the Wales goalkeeper on all four attempts.
Wales started the second quarter on an aggressive note and earned a penalty stroke which was converted by Siam French in the 26th minute as they went into the long break leading 2-0.
India dominated the third quarter and reduced the margin via skipper Rani off a penalty corner in 34th minute. They made it 2-2 a few minutes later when Nikki Pradhan scored a field goal in the 41st minute.
However, they could not find the back of the net again in the fourth quarter despite having better possession. Wales, having absorbed the pressure applied by the Indian forwards, scored in the 57th minute through Nàtasha Marke-Jones to seal the match.
It was not a great performance by Harendra’s team as they enjoyed 53% possession as against 47% of their opponents, made 40 circle penetrations as against 14 by Wales, had 17 penalty corners as against three for their opponents.
In the fourth quarter, Wales had only one chance as against a dozen opportunities for India.