Olympic Qualifiers: Must-win for Indian eves after SA defeat

Nishad Vellur/Zeenews Sports Bureau

New Delhi: South African women showed their prowess in their attacking and kept checking Indians’ progress on the field as they eke out a facile win against the hosts in the hockey Olympic qualifiers on Wednesday.

The South Africans physical dominance coupled with their pace with which they approached the game was no match to the frail Indian defense. The 5-2 result in South Africa’s favour will put India in a difficult situation in their pursuit of the Olympic dream.

South Africa nosed ahead in the 13th minute when Dirkie Chamberlain scored from the close range which left the Indian goalkeeper Savita with not much choice. India retaliated within ten minutes after their first shock and leveled through captain Asunta Lakra. Sadly, the joy didn’t last long. South Africa replied with another Dirkie Chamberlain goal, who scored from a rebound in the 32nd to maintain their upper-hand in the first half.

Soundarya Yendala equalized in the 52nd minute but couldn’t stop the African juggernaut since then as they went on to add another three to their tally. Sulette Damons netted two while Dirkie Chamberlain added one to her kitty. She was adjudged player of the match.

India are now in a must-win scenario ahead of their final group tie against Italy on Friday. Italy are in a comfortable position needing just a draw out of that match to join South Africa who are already qualified.