Olympic qualifier: India eves blank Poland 3-0

Nishad Vellur/Zeenews sports Bureau

New Delhi: Problems with the pass completion and passing concerned India, though they managed to scrape past a feeble Poland on Tuesday in the hockey Olympic qualifiers.

In more than one occasion, Indian strikers fumbled in front of the Polish goal and had it not been the case the hosts could have ended with a far better scoreline. Deepika Thakur missed a good opportunity for an early breakthrough in the 5th minute but missed the target by a whisker.

However, India went ahead in the 14th minute through Ritu Rani. A swift counter attack from the Indian flank involving Lakra and Poonam Rani broke the Polish defence. Ritu collected it from Poonam to easily find the target.

In the 36th minute, Rani Rampal rushed to the Polish circle from the right flank to score a stunner beating three defenders and the keeper to add another goal for India.

Poland came close in the 54th minute but the effort was thwarted by the Indian keeper Yogita Bali. A foul from Joydeep Kaur invited a penalty corner in favour of Poland but failed to convert after the shot was well saved by Bali in front of the goalmouth.

Indians sealed the winner in the 62nd with a Poonam Rani goal from close range. Deepika, who perfectly assisted India’s third goal, was adjudged player of the match. India next face mighty South Africans in the next round on Wednesday.

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