[South Africa], July 22 (ANI): The Indian Women's Hockey team scrabbled a 1-0 lead to give away two goals in the final quarter that set up a 2-1 win for Ireland in the 7th and 8th placing match here at the Women's Hockey World League Semi-Final on Saturday.
Though India started the first quarter rather slow compared to Ireland, they shifted gears ten minutes into the game. It was perhaps Ireland winning the first penalty corner of the match that came as a wake-up call for India in the 10th minute. Monika, however was brilliant at the goal-line to defend the dragflick with her stick.
In the 15th minute, India won a penalty corner which was successfully converted by Gurjit Kaur who came up with a well-executed flick firing the ball low to the left giving India a 1-0 lead.
There was plenty of entertainment in the second quarter with India dominating with improvised circle penetrations. During one such circle entry in the 24th minute, Navjot Kaur was obstructed by Ireland keeper Ayeisha McFerran which resulted in her being sent away with a yellow card for 10 minutes.
India were awarded a penalty stroke; however, nothing came off the opportunity with Ireland's stand-by goalkeeper Grace O'Flanagan making a great save. India lost another opportunity to double their lead when a goal was disallowed as it came off the back stick of Indian striker Rani in the 28th minute.
Coming into the match after a ten-minute halftime break, India won back-to-back penalty corners in the 31st minute but unfortunately, they couldn't convert the chance. India won two more penalty corners in the 43rd minute but striker Rani's flick was block away by Ireland goalkeeper O'Flanagan. Though Ireland attackers made brave forays into the circle and attempted shots on goal, India's goalkeeper Savita was on top of the job to keep the ball out.
Less than two minutes into the fourth quarter, Ireland leveled the score with a clinical variation in their penalty corner attempt that saw Kathryn Mullan finding a perfect deflection to put it past Savita in the 47th minute. Ireland further pumped another goal through a penalty corner converted by Lizzie Colvin in the 48th minute to take a 2-1 lead over India. Though India made desperate amends to equal the score, Ireland defence stood strong to win the match. (ANI)