India: Indian Women’s Hockey Team goes down 0-1 against United States

~Abigail Tamer of USA converted the team’s lone goal~

Ranchi, 13 January 2024: The Indian Women’s Hockey Team went 0-1 down against the United States in their opening match of the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers 2024 here in Ranchi, Jharkhand. It was Abigail Tamer (16′) who scored the lone goal of the match. 

Both teams were quick to get off the blocks with fast-paced, attacking hockey. While India, backed by a boisterous home crowd, made some early forays into the striking circle and dominated the ball possession, the USA settled into the game well after a frantic start. They controlled the possession much better, finding a breakthrough early in the game. But thankfully for India, their goal was overturned by the match umpire after a self-referral for obstruction by USA attacker Elizabeth Yaegar. 

The first quarter ended in a stalemate after a handful of shots on goal by India and a disallowed goal by the USA. However, only a minute into the second quarter, USA recovered from the disappointment of a disallowed goal to take a 1-0 lead putting India on the backfoot. It was Abigail Tamer who lofted the ball past India’s experienced goalkeeper Savita. Though the India Captain did get her pad on the ball, she could not keep it from trickling into the net between her pads. 

A little over seven minutes into the second quarter, India found a bright opportunity to make amends when they were awarded the first PC of the match. They had two more re-takes after Deepika’s attempts found the American foot but USA managed to clear the ball in India’s third attempt with some good PC defending. Not allowing the pressure to get the better of them, India pushed the ante in the remaining minutes of the second quarter. They made some incredible attempts on goal but US goalkeeper Kelsey Bing was on top of her game to keep her team in the lead. 

There was plenty of action in the third quarter, with USA’s Brooke Deberdine getting a green card. Though India had a one-player advantage, their forwardline was blocked away by the USA. In the following minutes, both India and USA picked up a green card reducing the game to 10-player a side. The hosts did well to take two good reviews to win PCs, however, they could not convert. 

Trailing by a goal, the final quarter remained tense for India and it didn’t help their cause with Vaishnavi Phalke getting a card. But her five-minute suspension did not dent India’s hopes as they strived for that elusive goal. India won a PC which was splendidly converted by a slap-shot by Udita but since it came off Jyoti’s foot, the goal was cancelled after a referral by the USA. 

The next few minutes saw the USA win a few PCs but India’s defence held sway but they could not add to the scoreline. 

On 14th January India will take on New Zealand at 1930 hrs. 

Matches will be live on Sports18 / Jio Cinema.

By Hockey India

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