Wrapping it up
Rani Rampal: 36’ 45’ 55’
Navjot Kaur: 54’
HOOTER! Thailand made a last ditch effort, literally in the last minute to score at least one goal. But the Indians deny that. The Thai were contend with hanging back and defending for almost throughout the match. The Indians, initially, missed a few chances and got a little frustrated of not being able to score but once Rani Rampal scored the first, the other goals kept coming. She wasn’t having a great tournament so far (by her own lofty standards) but with a hat-trick in this match, she has hit good form (and at the right time) before the knockout stage.
GOAL! Two back-to-back goals. The Indians are unstoppable now. Rani Rampal gets her hat-trick! The Thai defender was a tad slow. And, Rani, sensing the opportunity, steals the ball away from her, goes to the right of the ‘keeper and unleashes a hit to score India’s fifth goal. It’s all over now for Thailand surely.
GOAL! As easy as they come for Navjot Kaur. Extends India’s lead to four goals. She was bang in front of the Thai net, unguarded. Lalremsiami makes the perfect pass and Navjot just has to tap the ball in.
GOAL! Penalty Corner for India. Gurjit’s strike is saved by the Thai goalie but the ball rebounds to Monika, who unleashes a powerful hit to the bottom right corner of the net.
Final quarter (8 minutes to go), India 2-0 Thailand: With just eight more minutes to go, India have made 18 shots on goals and they converted two of those. And, Thailand haven’t made any so far. Zero shots on goals. It might be already too late. But they need to attack now.
Final quarter (10 minutes to go), India 2-0 Thailand: From the middle of the Thai circle, Rani Rampal scoops the ball to the right of the goalkeeper, trying to score a hat-trick. The shot lacks pace though. Alisa have saved better attempts than this one today and she has no problems saving this one.
Final quarter (14 minutes to go), India 2-0 Thailand: GOAL! Action-packed one. Lalremsiami, in the left flank, makes a diving pass to Rani. But the Thai goalie dives to clear the ball away from her but doesn’t connect the ball well. Rani takes the ball away from the goalie, finds space and slots in India’s second. Cometh the hour, cometh the skipper.
End of third quarter, India 1-0 Thailand: Nervy moments there for Thailand. Lalremsiami and Neha Goyal explosive in the left flank. The keeper Alisa had to clear the ball thrice from breaching the net she’s guarding.
Third quarter (2 minutes to go) India 1-0 Thailand: India do not allow the Thai attack to come close to their circle. The balls are intercepted midway and they enter the Thai circle, looking to score for the second time.
Third quarter (4 minutes to go) India 1-0 Thailand: Having scored one, the Indians want to quickly double the lead and take this contest away from Thailand. But there’s now more pressure on Thailand to attack. So far, they had been content to sit back and defend the incoming danger. Can’t do that anymore without scoring one.
GOAL! Finally. There it comes. And, who else but Rani Rampal to put her team ahead. She’s missed a couple of chances. But this one she’s capitalises beautifully. Udita, from the left flank, hits the ball, which hits the goalie’s boot and rebounds. Rani, with very little time on her hands, swiftly skips a few steps behind, creates space and angle and hits it to the top right corner of the Thai net.
Third quarter (9 minutes to go) India 0-0 Thailand: Penalty corner. Missed again by India. Gurjit Kaur takes it again. But the ball’s pushed away by the Thai goalie Alisa.
Third quarter (10 minutes to go) India 0-0 Thailand: Thailand have been happy to stay back and protect their circle. They haven’t launched as many attacks as they Indians have.
Third quarter (13 minutes to go) India 0-0 Thailand: Penalty corner. Missed. Not a bad shot by Gurjit Kaur. But quite a brilliant bit of goalkeeping by Alisa Narueangram. She dives to her right to parry the ball away from danger. She’s been great this match so far.
Alright, we are back then for the third quarter. Can either of the teams break the deadlock now or will this go down to the wire?
End of second quarter India 0-0 Thailand: In the dying seconds of the second quarter, India play a long ball from just outside their circle to the opposition circle, trying to catch them off guard. But the shot lacks precision. Doesn’t find the attacker inside the circle. Both teams go into their dugouts without scoring.
Second quarter (3 minutes to go) India 0-0 Thailand: India would be frustrated after missing the chances they got. Of course, several of them were half-chances. But some were really close. But credit to the Thai defence for not getting flustered by the Indian attack.
Second quarter (5 minutes to go) India 0-0 Thailand: Ah, a penalty corner at last. Can they make this count? No. Another miss for Rani Rampal. The injection was a little slow. But it’s deliberate. Rani taps the ball and then hits it hard towards the middle. The Thai goalie closes the gap between her legs at the last moment.
Second quarter (7 minutes to go) India 0-0 Thailand: Ooh, how close was that?! The ball, passed from the left flank, goes in front of Lalremsiami. But she can’t tap the ball in. India still continue to look for goals here.
Second quarter (10 minutes to go) India 0-0 Thailand: Another chance missed by India. Lilima Minz hits the ball hard from near the middle of the pitch. Vandana Katariya stretches but can’t get her stick on time to deflect the ball into the net.
Second quarter (12 minutes to go) India 0-0 Thailand: Navneet Kaur makes a good run from the left, gets past two Thai defenders and passes the ball to her skipper Rani Rampal, who hits it wide again.
End of first quarter, India 0-0 Thailand Apart from a couple of attempts by India and a Penalty Corner that came their way, there hasn’t been any threats to goal. Slow start.
First quarter (2 minutes to go) India 0-0 Thailand: Fouls. Free hits. More fouls and more free hits. The ball’s hardly been in any of the circles in the last five minutes or so.
First quarter (4 minutes to go) India 0-0 Thailand: The battle for possession resumes. Thailand now have started to intercept the Indians and are constructing their own counterattacks but none of them have been menacing so far.
First quarter (6 minutes to go) India 0-0 Thailand: Thailand, at the moment, is fighting for possession. The Indians have complete control of the ball. Maybe they are looking to draw mistakes from their lower-ranked opponents.
First quarter (8 minutes to go) India 0-0 Thailand: India’s getting closer and closer to getting the first goal. Once again, they enter the Thailand circle. But don’t quite breach their defence.
First quarter (10 minutes to go) India 0-0 Thailand: First Penalty Corner for India. Deep Ekka Grace takes it. Hits the ball a little too straight. The Thai defence blocks it.
First quarter (10 minutes to go) India 0-0 Thailand: First proper attack. Rani Rampal goes for goal from outside the Thailand circle. The flick, however, goes wide of the net.
First quarter (12 minutes to go) India 0-0 Thailand: Bit of a slow start by both teams. Neither of them have come close to scoring a goal in the first three minutes. The battle’s mostly been in the middle.
And we are all set for the start...
Here are the starting XIs:-
12:20 pm Hello! Glad to see you around here on a Monday morning. Rani Rampal and Co have qualified for the semi-finals. But still, the result could change the combinations in the semi-final. Not that it matters a lot for India, who’s trying to defeat every team in the competition and win the gold medal. But they’d look to play every match with the same intent so that no complacency is set in before the crucial knockout stage.