Women's Hockey World Cup: India crashes out as Spain makes it to the quarter-finals with 1-0 win
New Delhi, July 11, 2022
At the end it was a heartbreak as India crashed out of contention going down 0-1 to hosts Spain in their must-win crossover match at the Hockey Women's World Cup at Terrassa on Sunday.
India conceded a crucial goal three minutes before the final whistle and that put paid to their hopes of making it to the quarter-finals.
Marta Segu (57') scored the lone goal of the match for Spain which took them to the last eight stage.
In the quarter-finals Spain will face mighty Australia, while in other matches for semi-final slots it will be New Zealand vs Germany, Netherlands vs Belgium and Argentina vs England.
India will now play Canada in the 9-12 placing matches.
With a place in the quarter-finals at stake, both teams got off to a tentative start and took time to settle down.
India earned the first penalty corner (PC) in the eighth minute through Neha, who skillfully tackled the Spanish defender inside the circle.
India failed to convert the penalty corner as the hosts defended very well. They further built on a speedy counter attack creating a brilliant shot on goal but Beatriz Perez was slightly off target.
The following minutes saw Spain being awarded back-to-back PCs but they could not beat India's defence.
In the second quarter both teams traded PCs but the respective goalkeepers were on top of their game. Savita made three brilliant saves off a PC which Spain won early in the second quarter. Even though their attackers picked up the rebound and took fierce shots on goal, Savita stood like a wall to maintain a clean slate for India.
The Spanish goalie Melanie Garcia also defended well when India won two PCs in this quarter. While Monika's attempt was well-defended by their rushers, Gurjit Kaur's dragflick which was on target was brilliantly padded away by Garcia.
The match continued to remain tense in the third quarter. While India showed the right intent, and dominated the ball possession, they were simply not able to break the deadlock. Spain, meanwhile came up with some good circle penetrations but their strikers were not on target.
The final quarter was action-packed with Spain getting off the mark with a good attack but Savita yet again defended well.
The Indian forward line worked a stupendous attack with Salima and Lalremsiami in the circle but missed the target by a whisker. With about seven minutes of play remaining, Spain skipper Oliva Georgina led her team's attack, taking some potential shots on goal but was not successful in beating rival defenders.
Just when it looked like the match would go into the shootout, Spain found a breakthrough in the 57th minute. It was Clara Ycart who drove into India's circle and took a shot on goal, but Savita blocked it away. However, Marta Segu was perfectly positioned in front of the goal-mouth to pick up the rebound and put it into the goal (1-0).
Though India fought hard in the dying seconds of the match as Spain didn't make the final minutes easy for themselves. Garcia received a yellow card, then Segu received a green so Spain was down to nine players for the remainder of the match.
Still, Spain defended the goal which drew curtains on India's medal hopes at the World Cup.
Player of the Match Georgina Oliva said: 'We kept focused with our plan all the time and we tried to play our game all the time. We focused on our midfield. Having all these fans and this atmosphere makes it really great to play here."