India women’s hockey team ended their campaign at the Rio 2016 Olympics with a humiliating 5-0 defeat against higher-ranked Argentina in Pool B on Saturday.
With the loss, India finish sixth and last in group B. India were making a return to the Olympics after a gap of 36 years. They last played at the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
The five goals for Argentina were scored by Martina Cavallero (16th minute, 29th), Maria Granatto (23rd), Carla Rebecchi (26th) and Agustina Albertarrio (27th).
In their earlier matches, India’s best result was a 2-2 draw against Japan in their opening fixture. Other than that, India lost all their matches. The losses are Australia (1-6), Great Britain (0-3) and USA (0-3).
India vs Argentina Live Women’s Hockey, Rio 2016 Olympics:
1950 hrs IST: That is it! India end their campaign with a 5-0 loss at the hands of Argentina. They finish last in the group
1943 hrs IST: India have defended well in this quarter. Haven’t conceded so far
1936 hrs IST: The last quarter begins. India need to make sure they don’t concede more goals. A disasterous performance
1850 hrs IST: GOAL! Argentina score again with a PC conversion. Brilliant work from them
1844 hrs IST: GOAL! Argentina have scored inside the first minute of the second quarter. They failed to convert the PC but scored on the reboud
1838 hrs IST: India concede a penalty corner at the end of first quarter. But the Indian goalkeeper saves the drag. That is the end of the quarter. India 0-0 Argentina
1835 hrs IST: Two back-to-back saves from the Indian goalkeeper! But the danger is not averted. Argentina continue to attack
1830 hrs IST: Dominating play from the Argentine players. They are not letting India come forward and are attacking in full force
1820 hrs IST: India and Argentina players are out in the middle. Time for the national anthems
The Indian women’s hockey team yet again produced a lacklustre performance as it was outplayed by United States of America 0-3 to slump to its third successive loss in the Rio Olympics.
Still seeking their first win after returning to women’s Olympic hockey since their 1980 appearance, the Indians were once again left to defend their citadel for most part of the match as the Americans dictated the pace of the Pool B fixture.
With the loss, India remained as one of the bottom two teams (the other being Japan) with just one point from four matches in the six-team Pool B standings as their chance of making it to the quarterfinals worsened.
India will have to beat higher-ranked Argentina in their final pool fixture on August 13 for any chance of qualifying to the quarterfinals.
The fitter and faster Americans kept the possession with them for long periods of the match while the Indians gave away the ball easily to their opponents, who got nine penalty corners as against none by the Indians.
The Americans, however, could not score a single goal from the penalty corner. All the three goals came from field efforts.
Kathleen Bam scored twice — in the 14th and 42nd minutes — while Melissa Gonzalez struck once in the 52nd minute.
The Indians had just a couple of shots at the opposition goal as they were outplayed by their opponents once again.
Just as it seemed that the Indians will maintain a clean slate in the first quarter, they conceded a goal in the 14th minute with the dangerous Kathleen scoring a field goal following a sloppy defending.
Kathleen’s reverse shot went past the Indian goalkeeper Savita Punia.
The Indians did better in the second quarter as they were able to stop the Americans from scoring, including from the two penalty corners.
In the 20th minute, Rani Rampal’s reverse hit found the target but it turned out that the ball sounded the board after being deflected from Preeti Dubey’s leg to the disappointment of the Indian supporters.
India showed some purpose and intent to attack in the third quarter and they raided the American defence on a few occasions with Rani Rampal in the thick of action most of the times.
But USA made it 2-0 in the third quarter with Kathleen scoring her second goal of the match in the 42nd minute as she rounded off a defender with a reverse flick before sending the ball through the legs of Indian goalkeeper Savita Punia into the goal.
The Indian defence crumbled in the final quarter as they ventured higher on the field in search of a goal but they were punished by the Americans on the counter.
Melissa Gonzalez fired in from close range in the 52nd minute after a neat passing interchange among three players.
The Americans got three penalty corners in the final quarter and put the Indian defence under severe pressure but they could not add any more goal.