Potchefstroom (South Africa) : India ended its campaign in the FIh Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup on a disappointing note, losing to England in the bronze medal match in a heart-breaking shoot-out on Tuesday.
India were leading 2-1 into the final quarter of the match before England struck with three minutes to go to end the match 2-2. In the shoot-out, the Indians missed all three attempts as England capitalised on all three chances to win the match 3-0 and clinched the bronze medal.
India were playing for their second bronze medal in the Junior Women’s World Cup after finishing third in 2013. They started well as the first quarter ended 0-0.
Mumtaz Khan struck a brace of goals in the 20th and 46th minute as India cancelled Millie Giglio’s opening strike for England in the 17th minute and surged to a 2-1 lead at the North West University. Just when it looked like the match was going India’s way, Claudia Swain struck the equaliser in the 57th minute to hold India 2-2.
In the shoot-out, Maddie Axford, Claudia Swain and Katie Curtis scored for England while skipper Salima Tete, Sangita Kumari and Sharmila Devi missed their attempts for India.
This is the second time an Indian team has lost a bronze medal match to England. Last year, the senior India women’s team had lost to England in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Overall, it was a superb campaign for the Indian junior women’s team as it came into the tournament without many international matches under its belt because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Mumtaz Khan was the top scorer for India with eight goals and impressed everyone with her superb anticipation and game sense.