Savita Punia takes India into FIH Nations Cup final | Hockey - Hindustan Times
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Savita Punia takes India into FIH Nations Cup final

Dec 16, 2022 11:31 PM IST

After drawing the semi-final 1-1 in regulation time, India beat world No. 13 Ireland 2-1 in the penalty shootout to advance to the summit clash

India captain and goalkeeper Savita Punia produced a sensational performance in the penalty shootouts by saving four out of five Irish attempts to guide the Indian women’s hockey team to the final of the maiden FIH Nations Cup in Valencia on Friday.

 The Savita-led squad went into halftime trailing after the second quarter remained goalless.(Getty)
The Savita-led squad went into halftime trailing after the second quarter remained goalless.(Getty)

After drawing the semi-final 1-1 in regulation time, India beat world No 13 Ireland 2-1 in the penalty shootout to advance to the summit clash.

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India were trailing Ireland 0-1 for most of the semi-final after Naomi Caroll put them ahead in the final minute of the first quarter via a field goal. The Savita-led squad went into halftime trailing after the second quarter remained goalless.

After multiple attempts in the third quarter, India drew parity when Udita converted a penalty corner in the last minute of the third quarter.

Both teams tried scoring the third goal of the match but to no avail as the contest entered the shootout. India’s chances worsened after their main penalty corner specialist Gurjit Kaur was handed a yellow card due to a rough tackle in the 54th minute, resulting in India playing the final minutes of the game with 10 players.

But that did not bother the world No 8 outfit as they continuously pressed against the Irish defenders in the last few minutes, resulting in multiple short corners. But the lack of the drag-flicker -- as Gurjit was benched -- hampered their chances.

Lalremsiami and Sonika Tandi scored for India in the shootout while Savita saved all Irish attempts except that of Hannah McLoughlin, taking her team to the final.

In Saturday's final, the Janneke Schopman-Indian team will take on world No 7 Spain, who beat Japan 1-0 in the other semi-final. The winner of the eight-team tournament will be promoted to the elite FIH Pro League for the next season, where the world’s top nine teams will fight to win the tournament and earn a World Cup berth.

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