Monchengladbach: Indian girls created history by winning country's first ever bronze medal in the junior women hockey World Cup as they pipped England 3-2 on penalties, riding on striker Rani's dazzling show, here today.
18-year-old Rani scored India's only goal in the regulation time and then found the net twice in the penalty shoot-out to script India's memorable victory.
Navneet Kaur's strike handed India a 3-2 lead in the shoot out and when Anna Toman missed the following shot, it secured India's win. The two teams had ended 1-1 after regulation time.
India had surprised top teams in the competition and they finished their campaign in a superb manner.
England girls were also chasing their first bronze medal, having finished fourth at the last edition in 2009 in Boston, where they had lost the bronze play-off to South Korea.
Rani took the first stroke in the shoot-out and scored straight away. None of the England player could score except Emily Defroand, who cancelled India's lead on both occasions.
Navneet had missed her earlier stroke but she beat the rival goalkeeper in her second attempt as India gained upper hand again.
Anna, who had found the equaliser in the regulation for England, could not rescue her side this time in the pressure situation.
Earlier, the match started off with an early penalty corner to England but Grace Balsdon’s shot was deflected before reaching India’s goalkeeper Chanu Sanarik Ningombam.
The English girls kept pushing for the opening goal but it were India who would get on the scoreboard first. A counter-attack saw Rani powerfully strike home after 13 minutes of play.
A few minutes later, India failed to double their lead from a penalty corner variation. The Indian girls slowly took control of the match, but were unable to break the English defence. The halftime score stood at 1-0.
England entered the second half with a different attitude. They stepped up the pace and pressed for the equaliser and eventually got it through Anna Toman by shooting on target in a crowded circle in the 55th minute. Both teams kept going and went for the winning goal but ran out of time.
As the result remained tied 1-1 after 70 minutes of play, the match was decided in a penalty shoot-out competition.
India substituted their goalkeepers replacing Ningombam by Bigan Soy who had not played a single minute in this tournament so far.
Only 5 of 14 attempts were successful in the shoot-out.