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Indian hockey eves lose to Ireland, finish 8th at HWL Semis

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Johannesburg, July 22 (IANS) India conceded two goals in as many minutes in the final quarter as they lost 1-2 to Ireland in the 7th/8th placement match of the Womens Hockey World League (HWL) Semi Final here on Saturday.

India got the lead in the 15th minute as Gurjit Kaur successfully converted a penalty corner by firing the ball low to the left.

There was plenty of entertainment in the second quarter with India dominating with improvised circle penetrations.

During one such circle entry in the 24th minute, Navjot Kaur was obstructed by Ireland keeper Ayeisha McFerran which resulted in her being sent away with a yellow card for 10 minutes. India were awarded a penalty stroke; however, nothing came off the opportunity with Ireland’s stand-by goalkeeper Grace O’Flanagan making a great save.

India lost another opportunity to double their lead when a goal was disallowed as it came off the back stick of Indian striker Rani Rampal in the 28th minute.

Coming into the match after a 10-minute halftime break, India won back-to-back penalty corners in the 31st minute but they couldn’t convert the chances.

With India failing to seal the match, Ireland were never out of the match. They struck the equaliser in the 47th minute with a clinical variation in their penalty corner attempt that saw Kathryn Mullan finding a perfect deflection to put it past Savita.

One minute later, Lizzie Colvin gave them the lead through a penalty corner.

Though India made desperate attempts to equalise, the Ireland defence stood strong to win the match.

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