Women’s Hockey World Cup 2018: India were held to a 1-1 draw against hosts England in the Pool-B opener at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in London.
England were the better side in their Women’s Hockey World Cup 2018 opener in London, in every possible manner, yet it was India who took the lead in the first half of the opener off a controversial goal, before England pulled off the equaliser in the dying minutes of the game to keep the scoreline at 1-1 at the end of the 60 minutes of intense action at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.
Neha Goyal’s deflection of Navjot’s strike in the 25th minute of the game, gave India the early and a much-needed lead in the game which was mostly dominated by England. The hosts earned nine penalty corners as against India’s nill and it was only of the final attempt that the hosts found the back of the net when Lily Owsley pulled off the equaliser.
India started off strong in the first quarter despite their opponents earning the penalty corners. Goalkeeper Savita Punia was the star of the nght with some breathless saves. England had earned the first penalty corner in the 32nd second of the game and the next one eight minutes later and both were kept out of harm’s way by the Indian defense, who were in top-notch form. The strikers, on the other hand, cracked open England defense on quite a few occasions.
India’s goal was considered controversial, with a video referral by the referee herself as to whether the ball was above the designated height. But as Danson said, neither the players talked about it, nor did the crowd revolt as India took the lead.
“They were not happy with the score and that’s the positive side of their game. The score of 1-1 makes me happy, but I’ m proud of the fact that my team wants more,” India coach Sjoerd Marijne said.
“We are delighted. The performance today was absolutely fantastic it’s just about tidying up a few bits here and there,” said England captain Alex Danson.
India will now take on world number 16 Ireland on July 26 and then world number 7 USA on July 29 as part of their Pool-B fixture.