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WCW: Confident start by Indian women (7/21/2018)
--s2h team
When India defeated the reigning Olympic gold medallist England at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games early in the year, it lapsed into recess of memory as a one-off burst. It was perceived so because India went down tamely within days when they again met for the Bronze. Now, its time to forget the drubbing as the one-off and the real strength is the defeat of England. Indian girls thus improved their image when the thousands in the stands failed to get their home team thrash India. Contrarily, India braved the stands, and the Rio image of England to force a creditable 1-1 show.

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On a right flank attack by Monica who entered the circle only to be obstructed. India got a free hit which she relayed to top of the circle where Nikki Pradhan trapped it neatly and sent a through pass towards left corner of the circle, where Navjot Kaur got a rebound and sent it towards goal even as Monica and Lalremsiami tried to intercept the diagonal ball, hawkish Neha turned her body half way to guide the ball gently into the goal from very close quarters.

Stunned England went for a referral, quoting the ball that Nikki sent in was raising and hit a defender high before entering the circle. Thankfully for the Indians the third umpire did not agree with the protest, went by what the field umpire's decision.

India played a patient game, structured at that, to control the threatening forwards of the well-respected England. Once that I done, the time has come to push up the scoreboard. At 25th minute, artistic Neha Goyal did it exactly. The goals survived another 30 minute.

Lily Owsley enlivened the home crowd with gem of a goal (1-1), which stood test of time for the next six minutes.

It was the basic error of experienced Deepika Thakur that cost India a win. The penalty corner ball came to her close to right post after weak deflection by the goalie. Even as two forwards are closing in on her, she raised her stick to hit the ball, only to see Owsley snatch the ball and sent home.

Deepika could have covered the ball, or at least pushed hard outside, instead of harried hit.

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