LONDON: India have dominated Italy 3-0 to win the pre-quarterfinal knock-out.
The battle of the blues is a do or die ended in smiles for India and a ticket home from the Italians.
India have reached the quarterfinals of a Women’s Hockey World Cup for the first time in about 40 years.
India will now meet Ireland in the fourth quarterfinal on Thursday. Some members of the Irish team actually cased their opponents from the stands.
Here is the match, as it happened:
* India now face Ireland in the quarterfinal. That’s on August 2. Some of the Irish team were actually watching this match from the stands.
* And, it’s done. INDIA ARE THROUGH TO THE QUARTERFINAL !!!
* 58th minute: India sitting deep and comfortable. Italy do not look very threatening. India are about a minute away from the quarterfinal.
* 56th minite: Italy push forward in numbers. But India steal the ball for a blazing counter. The Italian keeper makes a narrow save. That was almost the fourth goal for India.
* GOAL!!! Vandana makes it 3-0 for India. The Italians are surely at the end of their World Cup run now.
* 54th minute: India get another penalty corner.
* 53rd minute: India win yet another penalty corner.
* 53rd minite: Italy create a chance. But the shot baloons over the goal. Lost opportunity. That was the closest Italy have come in the 2nd half.
* 51st minite: Italy press high up. But India fall back to thwart them.
* India look to push forward on the counter. They are playing the ball forward into lots of space. But the Italian defence catches up for a block.
* Tight scramble in the cirlcle. India get the ball away.
* 46th minite: And the cation is on. Italy push forward quickly. They win a penalty corner.
* Q4 begins.
* She has given it. GOAL!!! India double their lead. 2-0. Neha Goyal scores the 2nd for India.
* 45th minute: India get the ball in the back of the net. The referee goes upstairs for a referral.
* Italy press forward. But India deny them the space.
* 44th minute: Italy make a vital interception to deny Rani the ball from a cross from the right flank.
* Italy build up a counterattack. But they don’t have enough shirts forward, and the attack is squandered.
* 41st minue: India win another penalty corner.
* India try to slow the tempo of the game to retain control of the play.
* Deep Grace Ekka’s stike goes wide.
* 35th minute: India win a penalty corner.
* Q3 gets underway.
* HALF TIME: India have retained their 1-goal lead.
* 27th minute: Half time with within swiping distnce. India hold firm at the back. The Azurri attempts continue to end in frustration.
* 23rd minute: Vital intercept from Reena as the Italians launch a counterattack with a quick long pass.
* 17th minute: India create a near chance. Navneet sends a probing cross into the circle from the left flank. But Italy intercept just before it gets to Lalremsiami.
* First quarter ends. India have pretty much held the advantage across the pitch.
* India draw first blood. Lalremsiami put the ball in the back of the net with some deft touches after a scramble in the circle. India lead 1-0
* 9th minute: India win a penalty corner.
* 7th minute: Italy make their first push into the Indian circle. Sunita Lakra’s vital tackle takes the win out of the Italian sail.
* India are maintaining the pressure on Italy with a sustained thrust up the left flank.
* India pressuring Italy early, pressing high on the turf.
* India have started strong.