Women’s Hockey World Cup: Captain Savita stars in India’s 3-2 win over Canada in shootout

TERRASSA (Spain): Skipper Savita starred in front of the goal as India defeated Canada 3-2 in the shootout after both teams were tied 1-1 at the end of regulation time in their classification match of the FIH Women’s Hockey World Cup here on Tuesday.
Madeline Secco (11th) handed Canada the lead before Salima Tete (58th) left it late to equalise for India. But it was Savita’s heroics in front of the goal that gave India their first win of the tournament.
The Indian captain led from the front and pulled off as many as six saves in the shootout, while Navneet Kaur, Sonika and Neha converted their chances in the ninth to 16th place classification match.
Smarting from their disappointing loss to Spain, India started the match on an attacking note.
After soaking up the initial pressure from the Indians, Canada managed to put the ball into the India net, but it was disallowed as the referee awarded a penalty corner and Natalie Sourisseau’s attempt was off target.
Canada went one better a few minutes later as they won another penalty corner. This time the variation created confusion in the India defence, and Kathleen Leahy passed it to Secco for the final touch to stun the Indians.
India once again came out stronger in the second quarter and penetrated the Canadian defence on numerous occasions.
Monika, in particular, used her array of 3D skills to get past the Canada defence as goalkeeper Rowan Harris urged her team to maintain focus.
As the game moved towards half-time, India upped the ante.
Navneet Kaur, Neha and Vandana Katariya moved with freedom as Canada looked very much on the back foot.
In the 25th minute, Navneet and Vandana combined to create a fine chance but the shot was kept out by Canadian goalie Harris, as India trailed by a goal at half-time.
After the change of ends, India continued to pile on the pressure, with Lalremsiami making some speedy forays into the Canada circle.
But Canada held firm, with Sara McManus and Hannah Haughn displaying stellar performance at the backline to break down the India attacks.
India had a glorious opportunity to level the score just minutes into the third quarter but Navjot Kaur’s shot from inside the circle went over the bar.
Minutes later, Savita was called to the action as she made a brilliant save from a penalty corner to deny a second goal to the Canadians.
As has been the case in the tournament so far, India yet again cut a sorry figure with penalty corners. They earned back-to-back penalty corners in the dying minutes of the third quarter but failed to utilise the chances.


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