India closed their first season in the Pro League with a third place finish behind winners Argentina and the Netherlands. National coach Janneke Schopman’s side were expected to score at least two points in Wednesday’s second game against the United States. It eventually became three after the 4-0 win in Rotterdam.
Like the day before, India was the mother. But this time too, it took a long time for the Indian team to close the match. There were a lot of opportunities for India and especially for Devi Sharmila. She missed several opportunities to open the scoring.
India open the scoring
It was not until the third quarter that India scored the 1-0. World Player of the Year Gurjit Kaur’s penalty corner landed in the net via Katariya Vandana’s stick. Even after that, the Indian ladies remained sloppy in the finish. Navneet Kaur shot over while USA keeper Kelsey Bing was already on the ground and out of position and Navjot Kaur shot wide.
The American team, which could barely make a fist offensively, came close to equalizing afterwards. Ashley Hoffman, playing for HDM, pulled the ball out of a penalty corner just above Savita’s goal.
In the fourth quarter, India made the difference. After good preparatory work from Sonika on the right side, Katariya Vandana tapped the ball into the empty net. The stadium announcer had barely finished speaking when the 3-0 was on the board via Sonika.
However, the United States still had a good chance to score. From a corner, goalkeeper Savita saved twice, after which the ball was kicked just wide of the Indian goal.
After two missed American corners, Kumari Sangita put the final score on the board. At first, she met the outgoing Bing, but via the stick of an American player, the ball was free for Sangita: 4-0.
The big win and third-place finish in the Pro League is a good boost for India heading into the World Cup, which starts next Friday. But Janneke Schopman’s team will also understand that the yield from chances and corners (2 out of 10 in two matches) must be increased to achieve a good performance in the World Cup.
USA – India 0-4
39. Kataria Vandana 0-1 (c)
54. Kataria Vandana 0-2
54. Sonika 0-3
58. Kumari Sangita 0-4
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