Indian eves reach hockey final

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:35 IST

Surinder Kaur's late goal assured India another medal as they booked a final berth in women's hockey at the 18th Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.

Indian eves reach hockey final

Melbourne:

Surinder Kaur's late goal assured India another medal as they booked a final berth in women's hockey edging past New Zealand 1-0 at the 18th Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. India set up a title clash with favourites Australia. After a lacklustre first half, which ended a goalless affair at the State Netball Hockey Centre, the Indian eves got their act together and intensified the attack from the right. And one such move paid off in the 62nd minute when an alert Surinder Kaur deflected an excellent cross from Sabba Anjum to score the winning goal of the match. The forwards, led by Mamta Kharab, exhibited good coordination and a purpose behind their moves to keep the New Zealanders on the back foot. Kharab, who made at least five attempts at the goal, showed her usual flamboyance to launch several raids on the Kiwi citadel right from the start of the second half. In the initial moments after the break, she got a precise pass from the right and fired a hit only to be stopped by NZ goalkeeper Beth Ellen Jurgeleit. New Zealand resorted to some counter-attacks soon after and nearly scored two goals after fooling the Indian defenders. But experienced Indian custodian Helen Mary stood like a rock and warded off the two dangerous shots by Frances Kreft. Later, a good attempt by Stacey Carr also went in vain. Besides a few lapses, the Indian defence line acted in a coherent manner, not allowing the Kiwi forwards to walk away with the lead. In the first half, India had not got a single penalty corner as against New Zealand's three. But they earned three in the last 15 minutes of the match, though those turned out to be futile. The lone goal The joyous moment came for the Indian girls eight minutes before the final hooter. Saba Anjum sent a fast cross from the right flank and an unmarked Surinder deflected the ball in as Indian supporters burst into raptures. Minutes after, the Kiwis missed a golden chance to equalise as Honor Dillon fumbled in front of goal, with Helen Mary down, after receiving an accurate pass. Mary took full advantage of the situation and sent the ball away from Dillon's reach. The Indians quickly regained control of the game resorting to the attacking mode, though without being able to yield any further goals. In the other semifinal match, Australia posted a convincing 3-0 win over England. Suzane Faulkner, Kate Hollywood and Emily Halliday scored a goal each in hosts' win. The final will be held on Saturday. (PTI)

Topics : Hockey
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