Indian women’s hockey team beat lowly Ghana. 5-0 To kick off the Commonwealth Games campaign here on Friday with a win.
The Swetha Punia-led team, however, was unimpressive in their first Pool A game.
Gurjit Kaur (3rd, 39th minute) scored two goals each, while Neha Goyal (28th), Sangeeta Kumari (36th) and Salima Tete (56th) each scored a field goal for India.
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Although India dominated the match in all areas, it was a poor performance from them in the first two quarters as Ghana’s defense put up a determined display to frustrate their fancied opponents.
What was disappointing for India was the weak link-up between the midfield and the forward line.
Penalty corner conversions also continued to trouble India as they converted only one chance out of 10.
The Indians were expected to steamroll Ghana but goalkeeper Abigail Boye made some exceptional saves to keep her side in the contest.
He was well supported by his backline.
The Indians pressed the accelerator from the start and took the lead in the third minute when Gurjit converted his side’s first penalty corner with a superb drag flick into the right corner.
India soon got a second penalty corner but Ghana defended bravely and Boye made another fine save.
Just before the end of the first quarter, India were awarded a penalty stroke for a foul inside the ‘D’ but Ghana successfully challenged the decision.
Full time#WomenInBlue Outlast Ghana with a 5-star display to register a big win in their first game of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games!#IndiaKaGame #Hockey India #B2022 #Birmingham2022 @CMO_Odisha @sports_odisha @IndiaSports @Media_SAI pic.twitter.com/R1SLddF5NP
— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) 29 July 2022
The Indians came out attacking in the second quarter while Ghana were content to soak up the pressure.
The Indians launched attack after attack but were thwarted by the Ghanaian backline.
Ghana won a penalty corner with three minutes to half-time but the Indian skipper was unable to put past Savita.
Ghana grabbed another set before taking a breather but squandered the chance.
The Indians doubled their lead in the next minute through Neha, whose drive was deflected by a Ghanaian defender into the net.
Neha was once again in the thick of things but her powerful shot from point-blank range was saved by Ghanaian goalkeeper Boye.
Three minutes after the change of ends, India earned two quick penalty corners but missed both.
Sangeeta Kumari extended India’s lead in the 36th minute, finding the target from a goalmouth scramble.
Soon after, India got another penalty corner but failed to convert it.
However, the Indians made it 4-0 in the 39th minute when Gurjit scored with a penalty stroke.
India missed another penalty corner in the 42nd minute. After that, three more penalty corners were also missed.
Salima scored four minutes from the hooter after Ghana captain Nafisatu Umaru’s shot deflected off his stick.
India next take on Wales in their second pool match on Saturday.
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