Rosario: The Indian women`s
hockey team ended a three-match losing streak by upstaging
Japan 2-0 in its penultimate pool match of the FIH World Cup
at the Jockey Club here.
The team -- which was convincingly beaten in their first
three matches against the Netherlands, Australia and Germany
-- led 1-0 at half time with Rani Rampal scoring in the 14th
Jasjeet Kaur Handa accounted for India`s second goal from
a penalty corner in the 43rd minute.
With this result, India have leapfrogged Japan into
fourth place in the Pool `A` standings.
The star of the Indian team was once again the
15-year-old striker Rani Rampal who scored her fifth goal of
She finished off a slick attack with Poonam Rani and Saba
Anjum to ensure that her name continued to be on the
scoresheet of every match that India has played in this World
Japan had large spells of possession in the first half
but were often frustrated by superb work from the Indian
mid-fielders Asunta Lakra, Deepika Thakur, Ritu Rani and
Kirandeep Kaur who made a number of important blocks just when
their opponents threatened to score.
Japan were awarded a sequence of penalty corners on the
stroke of half time, giving them the perfect opportunity to
draw level. However, good anticipation from India goalkeeper
Dipika Murty guaranteed India the advantage at the break.
Japan came out at the start of the second period with all
guns blazing, but India soon found their rhythm and began to
force their opponents onto the back foot.
A strike from Japan`s Kaori Chiba caused problems for the
Indian keeper a few minutes later, with the video umpire
Claire Adenot being called into action to double check if the
ball had found its way into the goal, but India`s 2-0
advantage remained intact.
India will now play their last Pool match against New
Zealand on Tuesday.
India have three points and are placed above New Zealand
and Japan who have one point each.