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Indian girls unable to find their feet against Aus (10/6/2010)
--K. Arumugam
Indian girls unable to find their feet against Australia

India and Australia played a mediocre hockey today on the third day of the Common Wealth Games. Scoring a brace, and then conceding a goal, the new-look Australian team managed to garner full three points against India.

India had the initial advantage in the match, their constant attack yielding four penalty corners within first ten minutes. However, first Jasjeet and then Subhadra's attempts were feeble and unimaginative that it did not take much effort from the Aussie defence to quell them.

Once the Aussie girls quelled the dangerous looking Indian attack, they took control of the proceedings. They broke almost nonfunctional midfield, had upper hand in the exchanges thereafter.

The first goal was scored by Shelley Liddelow in the 11th minute, and the other in the 24th minute of the second session by veteran Megan Rivers.

Mention however must be made of Indian goalie Dipika Murthy who came out with her best to thwart at least six sure chances.

Binita Toppo and Joydeep Kaur were outstanding, but the frontline consisting of Chanchal at spearhead and Surinder and Saba Anjum at the wings were slow, sloth and purposeless. Saba and Surinder seemed to have lost the steam they once possessed, showed a poor understanding, and with their off form wrecked the rhythm.

Ritu Rani at right midfield was at her best today, came up with lot of feeds, but the frontline was wayward almost.

A minute before the final whistle Rani Ramphal scored a goal in her characteristic style, after snatching the ball from a defender trying to clear the ball inside her own circle.

undefined She drew Aussie goalie out, had the empty goal present before here, and then just pushed the ball in.

However, it was too little too late, not much time left to undo the damage further, and thus had to lose the battle.

India earlier drew Scotland 1-1 in their first match.

Australia, without many of its stars who did duty at Rosario World Cup, earned as many as ten penalty corners, but could not fructify any.

India got four PCs in the first half and two more in the next, both Subhadra and Jasjeet took them alternatively, with no results.

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