India Women's Hockey Team Makes Historic Pitch In World Cup

Ria Das
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This is a great reason to cheer. India women's hockey team is in the quarterfinals of the Hockey World Cup 2018. It was a comprehensive 3-0 win over Italy at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in London on Tuesday (July 31). India is proud and how!

Captain Rani Rampal's team was backed by Lalremsiami (9′), Neha Goyal (45′) and Vandana Katariya (55′) as the goal-scorers in a rather dominated match. If Indian women win quarters, for the first time in 44 years they'll secure World Cup semi-final spot.

India will face off Ireland in the last-eight stage on Thursday, hoping to book a semifinal berth for the first time since 1974. Back then they eventually finished fourth. World No.16 Ireland had defeated them in the group stages of the tournament.

This is a big momentum for India since their first appearance at the World Cup in eight years is going extremely well. In 2010, the team finished in a disappointing ninth slot.

Also Read: Why India Doesn’t Deserve Rani Rampal

Tuesdays's game was overwhelming for the opponent. Italy were slow. And, India took advantage of that. It took the experience of skipper Rani Rampal to lead India to its worth in a nail-biting match that lasted for 55th minutes. Another India's stellar defence led by super Savita has produced a remarkable performance throughout the tournament.  "Early in the tournament we didn't do the one thing we needed to do - score goals. But we have found the net now and we can definitely push on with our journey. We do not see that journey ending tomorrow," Rampal said to TOI.

This was the first time that the two nations India and Italy faced each other in a World Cup fixture. This was also India's 9th win in 16 encounters vs Italy.

The 9th minute goal of the match came from Lalremsiami. India played aggressive but failed to score any goal in the 2nd quarter and went into half-time with their lead intact. In the 3rd quarter, a determined Indian team extended their lead and finally earned a penalty corner which was converted into a goal with a brilliant deflection from Neha Goyal.

When a whistle was blown, it was all over for Italy. Indian team qualified for the quarter-final for the first time in 40 years.

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