Three teams still in the hunt for World League top spot
Women’s Hero Hockey World League Round Two 2013, day four round-up
India – Japan 2-2 (half-time: 0-2), Japan claim winning draw 3-2 in shoot-out
Japan drew level with India at the top of the women’s Hero Hockey World League Round Two 2013 by virtue of a winning draw in the final game of day four in Delhi. It leaves it all to play for on the final day of the competition with both sides locked on ten points each, just one clear of Malaysia. The Japanese claimed two points for the second game running in a dramatic shoot-out as captain Rika Komazawa once again was the heroine.
But India remain on top of the table by virtue of having won more games in the competition to date and so will win the competition on Sunday if they beat Russia. That outcome came as a result of an incredible late charge from India earned them their penalty reprieve as they scored twice between the 62nd and 64th minute to bring the tie level after Japan had looked the winners for the vast majority of the game.
They started like a house on fire, drawing an incredible save from Yogita Bali in the third minute when she got a brilliant palm to Yuri Nagai’s flicked effort after originally saving a reverse stick shot from the top. It went dangerous, though, and Shiho Sakai nailed her fifth goal of the tournament with a powerful low push from the ensuing penalty corner.
Bali was drawn into further saves from Miyuki Nakagawa on two occasions before Japan moved 2-0 up as half-time neared. It was from the set-piece again, this time Kumi Banda’s sweep was turned in on the right post by Akiko Ota. It was no less than they deserved for a dominant first half but India responded well in the second stanza. Rani drew the best from Ryoko Oie, using her shoulder to deny a sharp effort. The game was opening up markedly at this stage as the hosts sought to keep their tournament hopes on track.
And they got a lifeline when a diving Soundraya Yendala latched onto Jaspreet Kaur’s corner move. That was with eight minutes to go and moments later the game was level, this time Rani’s reverse-stick cross was brilliantly turned in from close to the flick spot by Napa Barla.
It earned them a point but they were not able to reinforce that comeback with a bonus point as Japan held their nerve, moving 2-0 up in the shoot-out and thought they won in the fourth round only for Akiko Kato’s effort to be ruled out. No matter, Komazawa scored her side’s next penalty to finally seal the deal, 3-2 in the shoot-out setting up a fascinating final day of the competition.
Malaysia – Fiji 12-0 (half-time: 4-0)
Malaysia recorded their third win from four games to remain very much in with a chance of finishing in the top two of the women’s Hero Hockey World League Round Two and possible qualification for round three as they got the better of Fiji.
They were scarcely troubled in this tie as Nadia Abdul Rahman was in exceptional form, first in midfield and then down the right wing. After just 30 seconds, her side showed their intent, Rahman’s switch to Kannagi Arumugam bouncing off the post. They went ahead in the sixth minute when Fazilla Sylvester Silin finished off from Nobaini Hashim’s cross. Rahman netted the second before two goals from Nor Azlin Sumantri completed the first half scoring.
After the break, Rahman completed her hat trick while Siti Noor Amarina Ruhani also scored three times. Sylvester Silin, Juliani Mohamad Din and Siti Rahmah Othman also weighed in for a comprehensive victory.
Kazakhstan – Russia 1-8 (half-time: 0-2)
Russia picked up their second win of the women’s Hero Hockey World League Round Two 2013 to keep alive their outside chances of potentially breaking into the top two of the tournament in Delhi.
They produced a superb second half performance to see off near neighbours Kazakhstan in the opening game of day four of the competition. It augmented two in the first half, the opener coming from Alina Krasnoperova’s excellent deflection, her fourth goal of the competition, from the top of the circle to Tamara Ivanova’s powerful crash ball.
Ekaterina Shaburova’s through the legs, back post effort doubled the difference by half-time and another great touch, this time from Kristina Shumilina extended the margin to three. The Kazakhs got some respite when Natalya Sazontova ran down the left wing and crossed for Vera Domashneva to finish off.
But Russia were relentless in the closing phases, scoring five more. Daria Vasileva cracked home a corner hit, Ivanova reversed in the goal of the game before nabbing her personal second goal before Evgenia Sorokina and Shaburova completed the rout.Back