LONDON: Stung by a lower-ranked Ireland, Indian women’s hockey team will need at least a draw against USA in Sunday’s pool B match to keep their hopes of reaching the knock-out stage of the World Cup alive.
After settling for a draw against world no 2 England in the opening match despite grabbing an early lead, Rani Rampal-led India suffered a disappointing 0-1 loss to Ireland in their second round robin match to squander the chance of making a direct entry to the quarterfinals.
Only the top teams from the four pools directly qualify for the quarterfinals, while the remaining four slots would be filled from the cross-over stage.
The sides finishing second and third in their respective pools would clash with each other in the cross-over stage with the four group toppers making it to the quarterfinals.
With one draw (1-1 against England), one loss (0-1) against Ireland, India are placed third in the Pool B points table.
USA too have drawn once against England and lost 1-3 to Ireland. Though both the teams have one point each, India is ahead due to goal difference.