London, Aug. 3:
India’s dream of breaking their 44-year-old last four jinx lay shattered as Ireland registered a 3-1 win via shoot-off in the quarterfinal of the women’s hockey World Cup.
Poor execution in shoot-off cost India dearly as skipper Rani Rampal, Monika and Navjot Kaur failed to get past Irish goalie Ayeisha McFerran. Reena was the only scorer for India in the shoot-off.
Even though India goalkeeper Savita produced two saves in the shoot-off to keep her team in the hunt, it was not enough as Ireland scored through Roisin Upton, Alison Meeke and Chloe Watkins to make their maiden World Cup semi-final.
It was great chance for India to recreate history and secure its first World Cup semifinal spot in 44 years but it was not to be.
The only time India had managed to enter the semi-finals of the show-piece event was back in 1974 in Mandelieu, France where they eventually finished fourth.
In the last edition of the tournament in Rosario, Argentina India had finished a disappointing eighth.
Interestingly, it was India’s second defeat to world no. 16 Ireland in the tournament after the 0-1 loss at the pool stages.
It was even-stevens in the first quarter with both India and Ireland failed to create any real scoring opportunity.
India and Ireland managed to penetrate each other’s circle quite a few times in the opening 15 minutes but both the teams defended stoutly.