Ireland edged past higher-ranked India 1-0 in their second Pool B match to seal their place in the ongoing Hockey Women’s World Cup 2018 quarter-finals with a game to spare at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre on Thursday.
A 13th-minute penalty corner conversion by Anna O’Flanagan was all that Ireland required as they doggedly defended to record consecutive upsets in the tournament en route a quarter-final berth. Ireland had earlier shocked world no. 7 USA 3-1 in their tournament opener, have topped the Group B with this win. By virtue of this win, Ireland are now leading Pool B with six points, followed by England (2 points), India and USA (1 point each).
It was also India’s second consecutive defeat to Ireland having lost to the same opponents 1-2 in their last encounter at the Hockey World league Semifinals in Johannesburg last year.
It was not that the Indian eves did not create enough chances. If they failed to secure a single penalty corner in their 1-1 draw against England, they secured as many as seven penalty corners on Thursday but failed to convert even a single one. The Women in Blue also had chances to score from open play but the forwards lacked finishing touch as Ireland well.
India will next play USA in a must-win last pool game on July 29 to stand in with any chance of progressing to the knockout stage while Ireland will take on England.
(With PTI inputs)