India allowed the hosts and Olympic Champions England to wriggle out of its grip in its opening pool B game of the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup in London on Saturday. With a goal in the 53rd minute from the ninth penalty corner, England salvaged a point against India that fell in the trap of defending its first half goal lead.
England, ranked number 2 against India, ranked 10th in the world, was made to look ordinary by an enterprising Indian team that played like a well oild machine in the first half. However, it started losing rhythym as it fell back to defend the solitary lead in the second half.
A point from the hosts and Olympic champions is not a bad start for a team that lost the Bronze medal game to the same English team in Gold Coast 0-6 early this year.
Against nine penalty corners earned by England, India got none. It goes to the credit of Indian goalkeeper and Vice-Captain Savita who executed some brilliant saves from at least three of nine penalty corners. the goal India conceded from the ninth penalty corner was unfortunately a defence lapse. savita had stopped the flick and a defender missed clearing the ball that was trapped into the goal by Lily Owsley.
India had taken the lead in the 25th minute Neha Goyal scored from a couple of exchanges inside the English striking circle.
In the beginning of the second half, India survived a scare when a penalty stroke was awarded against it. India went for Video referral that turned down the field umpire decision and awarded a penalty corner that India defended.
India had a chance to consolidate the lead in the 52nd minute when Lalremsiani had only goalkeeper to beat but her shot on run went wide.
Eight minutes before the final whistle, England took the risk of substituting goalkeeper with an extra attacker.
But once the equaliser was scored, the goalkeeper was brought back. But this did not change the final outcome of both India and England sharing one point each.