ROTTERDAM: The India women’s team produced a dominating performance to outclass the USA 4-0 in the second leg match here on Wednesday, finishing a creditable third in its debut season in the FIH Pro League.
The Indians had defeated the USA 4-2 in the first match of the double header on Tuesday. Vandana Katariya (39’ & 54’) scored a brace while Sonika (54’) and Sangita Kumari (58’) sounded the board once each for India. Argentina has already won the title with the Netherlands finishing second.
The USA started the match on a bright note and secured the first chance as early as the second minute, but Elizabeth Yeager’s high shot was saved by India skipper and goalkeeper Savita. India too had its opportunity soon after, but Sharmila Devi wasted a golden chance as she failed to beat the USA goalkeeper from close range.
As usual, Salima Tete was a livewire on the right flank, creating chances for her side with defence-splitting runs. The American team secured its second penalty corner in the 11th minute but wasted the chance. The USA started the second quarter positively, just like the first, but India grew in confidence as the match progressed.
India secured its first penalty corner in the 23rd minute, but failed to execute the set piece. Three minutes into the third quarter, India earned another penalty corner but Navneet Kaur’s trap shot after the initial fumble from the stopper was saved by USA goalkeeper Kelsey Bing.
But, India broke the deadlock in the 39th minute when Vandana got a faint touch to deflect in Gurjit Kaur’s flick from India’s fifth penalty corner. India then scored three goals in a span of just four minutes to seal the match.
First, Vandana scored an open goal from a build-up that began on the right flank. Seconds later, Sonika found the USA net after a goalmouth melee. India skipper Savita then made a double save to deny the Americans from a penalty corner. Young Sangita registered her name on the scoresheet with a fabulous field goal in the 58th minute.