India women’s hockey team salvaged a goalless draw against Australia in the final Pool A game of the Hawkes Bay Cup. World #13 India showcased a strong defensive performance to keep Australia at bay and will face New Zealand in their quarter-final clash on Thursday.
India open their account in Hawkes Bay Cup
By virtue of this result, the Indian eves open their account in the points table after loses against China and USA in their first two group matches. Meanwhile Australia registered their third consecutive draw.
Indian goalkeeper Savita Poonia pulled off some impressive saves to keep the hockeyroos at check. Australia had two penalty corners in the first 15 minutes but on both instances, Savita was too good.
India continued to play with the same strategies in the second quarter as the Aussies failed to get past the resolute defense of the Ritu Rani-led side.
A missed penalty; Savita’s heroics
In the second quarter, India squandered a great opportunity to take lead against the world #3 side. India’s in-form Anuradha Thockchom was brought down inside the ‘D’ but India failed to convert the penalty.
The Aussies went on an all-out attack in the fourth and final quarter and it was Savita again who came to India’s rescue. The 25-year-old pulled off a goal line save to give herself a clean slate.
The result is a morale-boosting one for the Indian eves after disappointing outing in the first couple of matches. Australia will now face World Cup bronze medalist Argentina in their quarter-final clash. In the other draws of the Hawke’s Bay Cup, China will face Japan meanwhile Korea will face USA.
The tournament is great opportunity for the eight team to prepare for the Hockey World League Semi-Final. International Hockey Federation will conduct two HWL Semi-Finals and the top-three teams from each will feature in 2016 Rio Olympic Games.