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India women fail to reach Hockey World Cup quarterfinals after defeat against Spain | Hockey News

TERRASSA (Spain): India lost their must-win crossover match against hosts Spain 1-0 here on Sunday at the FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup to bow out of the race to the quarterfinals.
It was Marta Segu (57th minute) who scored the lone goal of the match just three minutes before the final hooter.
India are now relegated to play in the 9th to 16th place playoffs and will take on Canada first in that quest.
With a place in the quarterfinals at stake, both India and Spain got off to a nervy start. It took them a while to settle down and build a good structure. It was not until a little over eight minutes into play that India earned the first penalty corner of the match through Neha. India, however, could not make much of the opportunity with the hosts defending very well.
Spain built on a speedy counter-attack right after that, creating a brilliant shot on goal but Beatriz Perez was slightly off target. The following minutes saw Spain being awarded back-to-back penalty corners, but they could not beat India’s defence.

The second quarter witnessed both teams trade penalty corners, but both the goalkeepers were on top of their game.
India captain Savita made three brilliant saves on penalty corners that Spain won early in the second quarter. Even though the Spanish attackers picked up the rebound and took fierce shots on goal, Savita stood like a wall to maintain a clean slate for India before half-time.
Spain’s goalkeeper Melanie Garcia came up with her ‘A’ game too when India won two penalty corners. While Monika’s attempt was well-defended by their rushers, Gurjit Kaur’s drag-flick which was on target but brilliantly padded away by Garcia.
With the scoreboard reading 0-0, the match continued to remain tense in the third quarter. While India showed the right intent and dominated the ball possession, they were simply not able to break the deadlock. Spain, meanwhile, came up with some good circle penetrations, but their strikers were not on target.

The final quarter was action-packed, with Spain getting off the mark with a good attack but Savita yet again defended well. Indian forward line, on the other hand, worked a stupendous attack with Salima and Lalremsiami in the circle but missed the target by a whisker.
With about seven minutes of play remaining, Spain Skipper Oliva Georgina became the cynosure of her team’s attack, creating some potential shots on goal but was not successful in beating India’s experience defenders.
Just when it looked like the match would go into the shootout, Spain found a breakthrough in the 57th minute. It was Clara Ycart who drove into India’s circle and took a shot on goal, but Savita blocked it away. However, Marta Segu was perfectly positioned in front of the goal-mouth to pick up the rebound and put it past India’s goalkeeper.
Though India fought hard in the dying seconds of the match, Spain defended the goal which ended India’s medal hopes at the World Cup.