Monday, 4 October 2010

CWG Hockey: Indian women held by Scotland

Reigning silver medalists India were held to a 1-1 draw by lowly Scotland in their opening Pool A match of the women's hockey event at the Commonwealth Games, at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium on Monday.

The Indians fought back from a 0-1 deficit and scored through Jasjeet Kaur Handa (45th minute) after Scotland took the lead in the third minute from a Holly Gram field goal.

The Indians had a mixed day in office, displaying contrasting hockey in both halves. While the home team looked out of sorts in the opening period, they dominated proceedings after the breather.

India looked clueless in the first half, sparkling only in patches, while the Scots were by far the better side on display as they combined well to put pressure on the opponent's defence on numerous occasions.

In front of a sparse crowd that gathered at the stadium, India conceded a goal early in the opening half, and from there on played the catch-up game in the rest of the half.

The less-fancied Scots surged ahead as early as in the third minute when Gram scored from a field goal from the left wing.

The Indians, however, got numerous opportunities to draw level but poor ball control and finishing let them down.

Stunned by the opening half goal, the Indians came out with purpose after the change of ends, which was evidently visible in their game.

They went all out, attacking from the onset, and their efforts bore fruit in the 45th minute when Handa drew parity with a field goal after a one-two with Ritu Rani.

Scotland got a great chance to restore their lead two minutes later but Samantha Judge's fierce strike from the top

of the Indian circle went agonisingly wide off the target.

However, in the final 10 minutes of the match, it was all India as the hosts made numerous raids into the rival citadel for the elusive winner but on all occasions, either luck or the stubborn Scottish defence, came in their way.

The draw against 21st ranked Scotland, however, is a disappointing result for the Indian eves, who are looking

forward to emulate their gold medal-winning feat in the 2002 Manchester Games, after having lost out on the opportunity in Melbourne fours years ago.

India next the face the mighty Australians while Scotland will be up against Trinidad and Tobago.

Meanwhile, in the other women's hockey matches of the day, New Zealand defeated Wales 5-1 in Pool B, South Africa trounced Trinidad and Tobago 12-0 in Pool A, while Malaysia beat Canada 3-2 in Pool B.

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