~Mariana Kujur and Deepika Soreng scored a brace each in the Indian win~
Muscat, 24th January 2024: The Indian Women’s Hockey Team secured an astounding 7-3 comeback victory over the United States in their second game of the FIH Hockey5s Women’s World Cup 2024 in Pool C. The goalscorers for India were Mahima Choudhary (17’), Mariana Kujur (20’, 22’), Deepika Soreng (23’, 25’), Mumtaz Khan (27’), and Ajmina Kujur (29’). Meanwhile, Jacqueline Sumfest (4’, 18’) and Captain Linnea Gonzales (14’) got on the scoresheet for the United States.
The United States took the initiative in the first half, and Jacqueline Sumfest granted them the lead with a reverse shot that found the bottom corner of the Indian goal. India threatened to equalise immediately, but goalie Kealsie Robles stood firm against a flurry of chances, charging out to deny multiple goal-scoring opportunities for India.
The Indian forwards kept piling the pressure on the United States in the later stages of the first half but failed to find the equaliser. With a minute left to play, United States’ Captain Linnea Gonzales intercepted a clearance from the Indian defense and unleashed a close-range shot to double their lead. Mariana looked to get a goal back for India, but Kealsie Robles remained vigilant in goal, swatting away the attempt as the first half drew to a close.
The second half began with India pegging the United States into their own half; the pressure resulted in a challenge which was converted by Mahima Choudhary to present India with their first goal and a foothold in the contest. However, the United States remained unfazed. They were quick to bounce back as Jacqueline Sumfest let loose a thunderous strike from the half-line to restore the two-goal cushion for the United States.
As India looked to get back on level terms, Mariana Kujur was on her toes, deflecting a cross to breach Kealsie Robles’s goal and put India within striking distance. Mariana continued to hound the United States’ defensive line in the second half, pouncing on a loose ball in the United States’s half and flashing a shot past Kealsie Robles to make it level at 3-3.
With renewed vigour, the Indian Women’s Hockey Team pushed for another goal, and it was Deepika Soreng who scored from a tight angle to grant India the lead for the first time in the game. Looking to consolidate the lead, India slowed the tempo of the game. Deepika Soreng went on to attempt a shot from a tighter angle, finding the far post of the goal and granting India a two-goal lead in the second half.
The Indian onslaught continued as Mumtaz Khan deflected a scorching pass from Jyoti Chhatri into the goal to further extend India’s lead. With a minute left in the contest, Ajmina intercepted the ball right in front of the goal and scored the seventh goal for India with an easy push.
The Indian Women’s Hockey Team won their first match in Pool C against Poland by 5-4. They will face Namibia next on January 25, 2024, at 14:30 hrs.
Matches will be live on Sports18 3 and Jio Cinema.
By Hockey India