A fairly one-sided encounter which saw very few glimpses of attacking gameplay by the Sushila Chanu-side ended with World Number 3 Australia edging past an off-colour Indian team with a 6-1 scoreline. The Indians had no shots on target against Madonna Blyth's side who are placed 10 positions higher than their 13th by the FIH as per the latest rankings.
Kathryn Slattery gave Australia the lead after a confusing scramble in front of India's goal and Georgina Morgan slotted in a PC to take the scores to 2-0 at the end of first quarter. India earned two penalty corners for India, finally, but yielded nothing as Rachael Lynch was left untroubled on both occasions.
Australia pushed off the second quarter action and immediately found space on the left to charge for the third goal but could not extend the lead thanks to Deep Grace Ekka’s quick retreat to steer the ball to safety.
Early on resumption in the second half, Emily Smith had a chance to put the game beyond the reach of India, with the third goal but missed a sitter. However, it did not affect the team much as Jane Claxton soon belted an absolute screamer on the top right corner to make it 3-0. An own goal in the same quarter by defender Sunita Lakra and Jodie Kenny‘s penalty stroke added to the woes as Australia led 5-0, going to the final quarter.
Australia showed more hunger in the final quarter and was rewarded when Jodie Kenny increased the lead one more time. Star striker Rani Rampal played only 8 minutes in the game while Vandana Kataria and Poonam Rani were far from impressive throughout the game.
In the final minute, Anuradha Devi reduced the deficit while Australia was happy to see out the remaining few seconds to hand India their second defeat of the Rio Olympics 2016 with a 6-1 scoreline.
Neil Hawgood’s side will play USA and Argentina in its last two matches. Not only do they need to win both the games, but also have to hope for other games to go their way.
A lot will be at stake as the women make an attempt to be in the top 4 and qualify to the next round. India drew 2-2 against Japan before going down to Great Britain 0-3 in their second game. The top four from each group makes the quarter-finals.Published 10 Aug 2016, 19:50 IST