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India’s World Cup hopes are dashed before the quarterfinals:
Why did Savita Punia & Co. fail?



Indian Girls Hockey Team

Savita Punia begins to yearn for a shootout when the Indian team is in a tight game and trailing or is working really hard to prevent the opposing side from scoring the game-winning goal. She is confident that she is skilled at it and that the squad can rely on her abilities to secure a win. In the FIH Women’s World Cup crossover match against Spain on Sunday, she encountered a comparable circumstance. Spain was attempting to win the match despite the score being 0-0. Savita was confident that India would win with three and a half minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. If not, she was ready to compete in the shootout.

Clara Ycart of Spain received the ball on the right outside of the circle, displayed her skill by dribbling past the Indian defence, and managed to take a shot, but Savita blocked it. Although Savita, who has been excellent throughout the game, had perfect positioning and reflexes, the ball rebounded toward Marta Segu, who took advantage of the opportunity by scoring from close range.

Spain wins by a score of one. India was unable to advance to the quarterfinals because they were unable to score an equaliser in the final three minutes. The hope of winning a World Cup medal has been dashed.
Where did India’s situation go wrong?

India consistently failed to capitalise on its opportunities during the competition. This team was moulded by head coach Janneke Schopman to play offensive hockey, which required a high level of effort and athleticism. The advantages were evident in the Pro League games. Nevertheless, despite all of the effort put in on the field during the World Cup, the team’s most crucial scoring opportunities were missed. in particular from penalty corners. The two 1-1 draws they had in their group stage matches against England and China were disastrous, and their World Cup was ultimately over after they failed to score against Spain.
India actually generated more chances than their opponents in their prior matches. Even this was absent in the case against Spain. India only had six shots whereas Spain got 14 from the same position. India was awarded four penalty corners, but the miserable performance kept going with no dragflick success.

The game was tense, as was to be expected. Both teams had stretches where they controlled the ball. India struggled against Spain’s toughness because they couldn’t get the ball back in the middle of the field, where they were creating all the huge opportunities.

The second quarter saw a small improvement from Schopman’s team, but Savita’s three consecutive saves from a penalty corner were what kept them in the game. Salima Tete gave India a significant opportunity when she ran down the left wing and handed the ball to Vandana Katariya, but the forward’s sliding shot missed the post. Vandana typically only needs a half-chance to score, as evidenced by her vital goals against England, China, and New Zealand. She had the option to convert, but she was unable to do so.
In the second half, Spain was the superior squad. They were winning the balls and passing the ball much more effectively. India had to play strong defence, as Savita’s saves once more prevented Spain from tying the game. Savita’s heroics appeared to give India a chance in the shootout, but just then, Ycart came up with a spectacular play that led to Spain’s triumph. There is no question that Spain earned the goal and a spot in the quarterfinals.

What will happen after the World Cup for India?
India will attempt to end their unbeaten streak in the World Cup against Canada on Monday (1 am IST start, technically Tuesday) in a 9-16 classification match, with no hopes of advancing to the quarterfinals. It won’t be simple at all because of the defeat to Spain and the three difficult group games that would’ve had a significant negative psychological and physical influence on them.

After their encounter against Canada, India will play one more game that will determine their ultimate World Cup standings. India placed seventh in the last season, therefore their position won’t improve this time. This is undoubtedly a letdown following the team’s outstanding performance at the Olympics, when they placed fourth.

What groups advanced to the quarterfinals?

Germany, England, and Belgium won their respective crossover games to go to the quarterfinals in addition to Spain. The quarterfinal matchups are as follows: Argentina vs. England, Australia vs. Spain, Netherlands vs. Belgium, and New Zealand vs. Germany.