India women’s hockey team is making buzz in the Hockey World Cup 2018 in England. Neha Goyal’s name came up frequently as goal-scorer in the recent matches played. Here’s what you need to know about the player:

  • Hailing from Sonepat, Haryana, Neha comes from a financially-challenged family. She is a daughter of a daily wage labourer and her mother works as a domestic help. Her two elder sisters do sundry jobs in peoples’ homes.
  • The family struggles to make ends meet. So taking care of her basic requirements to play the sport like shoes, hockey sticks, diet regime, was an obstacle that Neha is still overcoming.
  • Neha was introduced to hockey by a friend. “One day my friend took me along for practice and it all began from there,” Neha revealed.
  • She began training in an academy run by former India captain Pritam Rani Siwach and never looked back.

“Neha did not even have money for a hockey stick. I used to get kits from senior players and distribute it to the girls. Like Neha, there are 70-80 girls in the academy who come from very poor families. We somehow manage by getting help from here and there,” Pritam told TOI 

  • Neha has led the Junior hockey team of her state in various tournaments and won several laurels on the way to make it to the national team.
  • The midfielder made her debut in the Senior Indian National Team in 2014. She played her first match FIH Champions Challenge in Glasgow.

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  • Neha grabbed the spotlight during Asia Cup, 2017 when she netted one goal for the country against China in the second match of Pool A.
  • In their opening match at the ongoing 2018 World Cup in London, India played against the host England, where Neha gave India the lead at the 25th minute before England equalised it and the match ended in a draw.

  • In the qualifier, in the 3rd quarter, a determined Neha extended India’s score lead and finally earned a penalty corner which was converted into a goal. Thanks to her, India women’s hockey team qualified for the quarterfinals of the 14th edition of the women’s World Cup  with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Italy at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in London on Tuesday (July 31).

Kudos to you, Neha!

Feature Image Credit: zimbio.com

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