|February 18th, 2012|
|3||Pool A||6:00pm||IND - UKR||1 - 1 (0 - 1)||Final||x 12|
The match between India (ranked 13th in the world) and Ukraine (ranked 26th) started in front of a larger crowd than for the earlier matches, the fans starting to trickle in for the much anticipated debut of the Indian men’s team later in the evening. The first attacks by the Indian were wildly encouraged by the crowd, but Ukraine held their ground calmly, then forced the first penalty-corner of the match, shot just wide to the relief of the crowd.
India seemed to have control of play, running deep into the Ukrainian defense, but without penetrating enough in the circle to really threaten Alvina BUDONNA in the Ukrainian goal. At the end of one of their rare counter-attacks, Ukraine surprised the Indian defense and forced a penalty-corner, converted with a straight shot by their captain Maryna VYNOHRADOVA.
India pushed forward and started to pepper the Ukrainian goal, but precision was lacking and Alvina BUDONNA stood tall to stop everything coming her way. Score was still in favor of Ukraine (0-1) going into half-time.
The Indian players were faster and more physical, pushing relentlessly the Ukrainians on their heels. Soundarya YENDALA finally relieved the tension in the stadium when she received the ball at the top of the circle and unleashed an instant shot in the net. Curiously, the Indian women seemed to slow down the pace after their goal instead of trying to force the advantage, giving the opportunity to Ukraine to push forward again.
India thought that they had finally scored when Anuradha Devi THOKCHOM deflected the ball in goal after a high shot, but the umpires deemed that she played the ball too high in the air and the score remained tied at 1-1. With time passing, the crowd became worried, the Indian players nervous and the Ukrainians started to see the possibility of an upset in their favor. Despite exhaustion, they managed to maintain their structure, breaking attacks after attacks of Indian players reverting too often to individual play.
Ukraine survived a penalty-corner in the last minute of play, and a wild scramble in front of their goal in the last 15 seconds, to hold on to the tied score (1-1), a good result for them but a disappointment for India.
Player of the Match was Anuradha Devi THOKCHOM, of India.