Saturday, August 2, 2014

Indian eves defeat hosts Scotland 2-1 to finish 5th in CWG hockey

Scotland, August 1, 2014: Playing for the 5th position at Scotland in the XX Commonwealth Games, the Indian eves yet again proved they are a promising team who one should look out for in the near future. While their first half was a showcase of great defense along with counter attacking, it was only in the second half that the Indian forwards finally scored and won the match leaving dents in the opponent’s semi circle.

Scotland managed more shots to secure two penalty corners in the initial stages of the game but failed to get past the Indian goalkeeper Savita on both the occasions. A good defense was evident by the Indian eves as they successfully disappointed Scotland on all occasions during the entire first half leaving them scoreless.

India on their behalf even managed to keep the opponents defense busy with a good and sound attack but were unable to cash on the opportunities. Post a tough clash, both teams failed to open their respective accounts and ended the first half with a 0-0 on board.

With a winning determination, the Indian girls started the second half by immediately setting off their attack on the opponents. During a penalty corner opportunity in the 42nd minute of the game, with India’s Jaspreet Kaur making the stroke only to be saved by the Scottish goalie Gibson.

The Indian efforts finally showed a result when Anupama Barla sneaked in a field goal in the 53rd minute of the game and took the lead on the game by 1-0.  It was quickly followed by a penalty corner conversion by Scotland’s N. Kidd in the 55th minute, equalized the score at 1-1. However, Scotland’s joy was short lived as the Indians took the lead back in the 57th with Poonam Rani striking another field goal and marking 2-1 as the final score of the match.

The final scores stood at 2-1 depicting a fifth place finish for the Indian Women’s Hockey Team in the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

HI Press release and photos

Indian men head out to clash with New Zealand in CWG hockey the semifinals

Scotland, August 1, 2014: Riding high on success and moving closer to the goal, the Indian Men Hockey team readies to take New Zealand head-on in the semi-finals of the XX Commonwealth Games 2014 at Glasgow, Scotland on Saturday..

When the Indian men paved their way in a splendid fight against South Africa to register a 5-2 victory, they secured their stop for the semi finals of the tournament. India is now set to clash with higher ranked New Zealand and will attempt to take a leap into the finals.

With the 6th rank in the world, New Zealand will be using their ‘experience’ against India, as 7 out of 16 players in their squad have more than 150 international caps to their credit. On the contrary, India has proven to be a well-balanced team in the tournament with a fair combination of experienced and young players. It will be New Zealand’s penalty corner specialist Andy Hayward that team India will have to watch out for and avoid giving away penalty corner opportunities. India’s reply to Andy Hayward will be Rupinder Pal Singh, who has performed consistently in the tournament with 5 successful penalty corners and 2 field goals, making a total of 7 goals to his credit.

Heading back to the 1998 Commonwealth Games’ clash between India and New Zealand, India defeated New Zealand 3-1, while in the 2006 Commonwealth Games, both these teams played for 5th/6th spot, where New Zealand managed to slide past India by 2-1 and claimed the 5th position. Though, in 2010 Commonwealth Games the two teams did not face each other in the entire tournament, India made their way into the finals with Australia and bagged the second spot and New Zealand settled for the third position in the tournament.

Speaking on the match tomorrow, Chief Coach Terry Walsh said, “We now move into the second phase of the tournament - the crossovers. Unfortunately we will play New Zealand without Sardar Singh who is under one match suspension. New Zealand are well versed in these contests but indeed this is our challenge. Our team is growing game by game and this important match will measure how far we have developed. Our scoring options are real threats and our defensive structure will need to be at its best. Our confidence and self belief will determine the outcome of this game.”

HI Press release

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Indian men beat South Africa to book berth CWG hockey semi-finals

Scotland,  July 31, 2014: In their last preliminary match, India continued their good form and put up a good performance against the South African team at Glasgow, Scotland. With the match being a decider for the semi-final berth, India could have played for a draw while it was a must win match for the South Africans. But India made their intentions clear from the very first minute, of not settling for anything less than a win today.

Getting into business immediately India earned their first penalty corner opportunity just 3 minutes into the game. Realising that the early goal will help put pressure on the opponents, V R Raghunath made no mistake in converting the penalty corner and opening the scorecard 1-0.

This left the opponents stunned as they were not expecting to go on the back foot so early on in the game and before they could come out of the setback, the very next minute India earned their second penalty corner but this time it was saved by the South African goalkeeper Erasmus Pieterse.

 India kept the pressure on the opponents and in the 9th minute India’s Rupinder Pal Singh was successful in converting the penalty corner and helping his team take a 2-0 lead. While South Africa kept looking for the opening, getting past the defence of India was proving to be a huge task for them. In the 22nd minute Ramandeep Singh scored a field goal for India to take the lead further to 3-0. India already high on momentum kept looking for scoring opportunities and in the 26th minute SV Sunil got a brilliant pass and he made no mistake in converting the fourth goal for India.

 With 4-0 on the score board both the teams started the second half again with great speed and determination. While India was looking at more goals, South Africa on the other hand looked at opening their account. Wanting to change gears, South Africa in the 42nd minute finally registered their first goal, which came from the stick of Taine Paton and taking the score tally to 1-4.  With the first goal registered South Africa yet again scored in the 47th minute and this time it was through a penalty corner coming from the stick of their Captain Austin Smith.

 With 4-2 on the scorecard, India ensured a good ball possession hereon hence not allowing the opponents any opportunity to attack. It was in the 58th minute when Manpreet Singh’s diving goal helped India take the score card to 5-2. The rest of the session saw both teams trying to score but were unsuccessful in doing so and the game ended with India taking a convincing win and the bus to the semi-finals.

 India will take on New Zealand in semi-final-1 on August 2.

-HI Photos and Release