India's ladies reach hockey semis
31 July 2002
It was all drama in the women’s qualification final as India beat South Africa 4-3 with a golden goal to secure their place in the semi-final against New Zealand.
Things seemed to be going well for the South African girls in the first half as they cruised into a three-goal lead, but India rocked the competition with a tremendous fight-back in the second half to draw level and then win with the first golden goal of the tournament.
Pietie Coetzee had continued her great scoring form with two short-corner goals in the first 15 minutes of the game and when Jennifer Wilson scored just before the interval India looked completely out of it.
But South Africa failed to regain their early domination and flinging caution to the winds India went on all-out attack. Pritam Siwach scored her 101st international goal in the 46th minute to signal India’s revival.
Jyoti Kullu scored twice with short corners in the 62nd and 64th minutes with the crowd now swinging behind the Indian girls in the first real turn-round of the competition.
With the score standing at 3-3 at the end of normal time, Belle Vue enjoyed the tense moments of a golden goal, with Suman Bala Saini sending her Indian team-mates wild when her short corner found the net at the end of the first seven and a half minutes.
India's captain Surja Waikhom said: “It was the team’s hard work and fighting spirit. In the second half, we played an attacking game, we didn’t defend that much. We put more pressure on South Africa.”
Info News Service/jb/dm/pjt