Rosario: Rani Rampal`s double
strike went in vain as India suffered their second consecutive
defeat in the women`s hockey World Cup, losing 3-6 to
Australia in a Pool A match here.
For the Hockeyroos, it was their second successive win of
the tournament and they are well on course for semi-finals of
the quadrennial event.
Ashleigh Nelson (34th minute, 58th) scored two goals for
Australia late last night while Madonna Blyth (17th), Casey
Eastham (52nd), Nicole Arrold (55th) and Shelly Liddelow
(64th) found the net once each.
For India, Rampal continued her impressive showing
upfront, scoring in the 17th and 62nd minute while Ritu Rani
(42nd) managed the other goal.
The Surinder Kaur-led India are still without points in
the tournament after suffering two defeats out of as many
matches and will take on Germany in their next pool match
tomorrow, while the Australians will be up against title
holders the Netherlands.
Unlike their tournament opener which they lost 1-7
against defending champions Netherlands, India came out more
organised against the Hockeyroos.
However, extreme cold conditions had a telling effect on
the game in the initial stages as both the teams looked
scrappy and were guilty of giving away possession easily.
But slowly and steadily Australia got into their groove
and started to control the proceedings which resulted in the
opening goal of the match.
The Aussies took the lead in the 17th minute through
their captain Blyth who scored her second goal of the
tournament from open play.
But India drew parity five minutes from the end of the
first period through the 15-year-old Rampal who scored with a
beautiful reverse stick shot. But Australia regained the lead
at the stroke of the halftime when Nelson slammed home the
ball from a penalty corner.
After the change of ends, India once again hit back
through Ritu Rani`s field goal in the 42nd minute.
However, instead of stepping up the gas from there India
conceded three goals in six minutes with Eastham, Arrold and
Nelson, who scored her second, finding the target to give
Australia a comfortable 5-2 lead.
Eighth minutes from the hooter, Rampal reduced the margin
with her second strike of the day before Liddelow`s field goal
sealed the match in Australia`s favour.
Meanwhile in other matches of the day, Netherlands mauled
New Zealand 7-3 while Germany scrapped past Japan 2-1.