National team coach Yanneke Schopmann scored a 4-2 victory for India in Rotterdam on Tuesday over the United States, the team that had been in charge of the former Orange International between 2017 and 2019. With the win, the Indian women finished third in the Pro League at hand.
With only one match left in the Nations Cup, India has 27 points, five points behind Belgium who still have two matches against the United States. The Red Panthers can then reach 28 points. This means that India will need to get at least an extra point against the United States in their final match in the Pro League this afternoon to secure third place behind winners Argentina and the Netherlands.
India won the first match of a double-double with the US national team on Tuesday 4-2, but the victory did not come easily. Although the numbers spoke clearly in India’s favor afterwards, the fourth-placed in the Tokyo Olympics struggled to finish, especially before the first half.
Shot by Sangeeta Kumari passed over the goal with an American stick. Kataria Vandana hit a long shot after slipping between the American defenders and Sharmila Devi came within short distance of passing the ball into the American goal near the far post. Two penalty kicks came to nothing.
It was Team USA who took a brutal lead two minutes before the break. Danielle Grega responded intently to a shot from Irene Matson and tapped the ball in front of goalkeeper Devi Khribam Picchu, who took charge from Savita under the crossbar.
The third quarter had barely begun when India turned the deficit into a 2-1 lead. Deep Grace Eka converted India’s third penalty kick after 45 seconds, and not long afterward Navneet Kaur fired the ball into the net from close range after a fine attack. After Sonica raised the score to 3-1, the match looked over.
return of tension
But the tension returned when the American team scored the link goal from a penalty kick at the end of the third quarter whistle. Despite Indian protests, it stayed 3-2 on the board.
India escaped a tie in the last quarter. Megan Rodgers single-handedly succeeded in the perseverance of the Indian defence, but her shot was not strong enough to surprise goalkeeper Picchu in the short corner.
Immediately after that, India fell 4-2 after San Carlos lost the ball, and Blumendale played last season. Vandana was able to advance freely toward the American target. Goalkeeper Jennifer Rizzo was still on the ball which vanished hard into the top corner.
Despite the setback, the US team did not give up. Elizabeth Yeager hit the post with a penalty kick and Amanda Magadan hit a long shot in a promising position. Greg Drake’s team was unlucky, but also lacked quality on Tuesday to really hurt India.
United States – India 2-4
28. Daniel Griga 1-0
31. Grace Deep Ica 1-1 (sc)
32. Navnit Core 1-2
40. Sonika 1-3
45 – Natalie Corneth 2-3 (sc)
50 – Qatari Vandana 2-4
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