Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Aug.10 (ANI
): The Indian women's hockey team suffered yet another defeat in the Rio Olympics
by going down 1-6 at the hands of Australia in their third Pool B encounter here on Wednesday.
Australia, the higher ranked team almost immediately starting exerting pressure, playing a high midfield and rotating possession very frequently. They won their first penalty corner in the 4th minute, but India's runners denied Georgina Morgan from the flick, albeit illegally to concede another penalty corner. Morgan's second dragflick was saved again on the line and in the goal line scuffle, the loose ball popped up for Kathryn Slattery who slot it into the roof of the net, to give Australia an early lead.
India had a couple of penalty corners of their own very soon, the first blocked away by Australia, who were very quick to charge off the line. Off the second India looked to have pulled off a clever improvisation; striker Rani Poonam pushed her flick into the path of Preeti Dubey, who with her back to the goal deflected it inches wide of the post.
But Australia soon scored their second in the 9th minute via Georgina Morgan's penalty corner conversion, and led 2-0 heading into the first break.
India came out with more determination and confidence in the second quarter, and even looked to have the Australians on the ropes for a while, with some superb movement around their circle. The closest chance fell to Anuradha Thokchom, a reverse hit, which went high off goal. Soon, goalkeeper Savita Punia was at the centre of it all again, facing the Australian backlash pulling off a series of superb saves to keep her team in the game.
First there was a smart block from a Slattery snapshot on the right, before she calmly padded away Morgan's penalty corner, Australia's fourth of the game, which seemed destined for the top right corner. The saves and a long spell of superb defending meant India would hold the Aussies to a two-goal advantage heading into halftime.
In the second half, Australia started off on the front foot again, and drew a save off a penalty corner from Savita in the first few minutes. Soon after, a cross from the right by Georgina Parker found Emily Smith in front of an empty goal. Smith fluffed her shot wide. Jane Claxton soon found the board though in the 35th minute, and soon after another Parker cross took an unlucky deflection off an India stick to give Australia a 4-0 lead.
Right at the end of the quarter, India conceded a stroke after an illegal save from a penalty corner and Jodie Kenny put it away. Savita, India's best player on the pitch, pulled off two quick saves at the end of the quarter to take them into the final break.
Kenny had her second of the game in the first minute of the final quarter via an improvised penalty corner to give Australia
a 6-0 lead. India pulled a goal back in the final seconds of play via Anuradha Thokchom, as the game ended 6-1.
India are currently standing fourth in Group B. They drew 2-2 against Japan before going down to Great Britain 0-3 in their last game. India
will next lock horns with USA
on August 12. (ANI