Birmingham| In one of the major setbacks, the Indian women's hockey team bowed out of the 2022 Commonwealth Games. India was going strength to strength and they left no stone unturned to give a tough fight to the Australians who were undoubtedly the favorites. Team India made sure that they do not leave any kinds of loose ends in the match and displayed a dominant side of their game.
The Indian hockey team had their eyes set on the fabled CWG gold medal and it was the Australian challenge that was awaiting them before they could advance into the finals. Both teams fought valiantly and kept challenging each other throughout the game. The game moved towards the traditional penalty shootouts after it ended in a 1-1 draw, but what happened next has raised many eyebrows and has drawn different reactions from various corners of the world.
Australia took the first shot, but Rosie Malone ended up missing it, before ecstasy could hit the Indian team, clouds of dismay came looming over. In one of its kinds of incidents, Malone was given a second chance as a technical official, B Morgan of England, had failed to start the clock on time. As the rules of the game have it, every player gets a slot of eight seconds to put the ball into the net in the shootout.
To Malone's good fortune, she scored in the second attempt and opened Australia's account in the shootout. This rattled the Indian team and they failed to get any kind of momentum back. The match ended with Australia winning by a margin of 3-0.
"After that, we lost a little bit of our momentum. Then it did go in, and everyone is deflated. I’m not using it as an excuse, but when you make the save, that’s an enormous boost for the team and you turn the decision around and the girls are really upset about it. I tried to calm them down. In hindsight, it's 50-50 but I’m sure their focus was lost a little bit after that moment. It’s all human and all emotion. Should we be better? That’s what I was trying to say, 'girls it doesn’t matter, it doesn't matter. But of course, it does matter and of course, I am angry also because I don’t think even the officials understood what happened", said an angry Schopman who has been working tirelessly to take Indian women's hocket to newer heights.
India will now play New Zealand in the bronze medal playoff on Sunday.
(Inputs from PTI)