Indian women look for first victory

India will be eyeing their first win when they take on Ireland at the women's World Cup on Thursday. PTI

A golden opportunity to claim an upset win lost, the Indian women's hockey team would be aiming to make amends when it takes on a lower-ranked Ireland in its second game of the World Cup, here on Thursday.

India had held world No 2 England 1-1 in their Pool B opener, conceding a late goal.

World No 10 India will fancy their chances against world No 16 Ireland, but it would be a serious mistake by the Sjoerd Marijne-coached side if they take the Irish lightly.

By virtue of their stunning 3-1 stunning over world No 7 USA, Ireland, the lowest ranked side in the group, are currently leading Pool B just ahead of England and India. And a win against India would secure Ireland's place in the knock-out stage.

India had lost 1-2 to Ireland in the HWL Semifinals in Johannesburg last year and revenge would be high on the Rani Rampal-led side's agenda.

The Indian coaching staff and senior players like goalkeeper Savita feel that defeat is history and they have the firepower to beat Ireland.

"We have done well against Ireland in practice matches in the past," she said. "In the match last year, we were leading and should have won for sure but conceding two penalty corners one after another proved costly. We have a strong defence and play an attacking brand of hockey -- this is a potent combination and makes us strong as a side," she asserted.

But the Indians will have to lift their game by few notches for that to happen. Against England, they failed to earn a single penalty corner, leaving drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur frustrated. However, goalkeeper Savita was brilliant under the bar to deny England on numerous occasions as the team came under pressure in the second half.

In the other match of the day, Spain will take on South Africa in Pool C.

The match starts at 6:30 pm IST.


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Indian women look for first victory


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