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Women's Nation's Cup: India beat Ireland 2-1 in shootout, set up summit clash against Spain

Skipper Savita Punia produced an excellent performance under the bar as India defeated Ireland 2-1

Womens Nations Cup: India beat Ireland 2-1 in shootout, set up summit clash against Spain
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Skipper Savita Punia produced an excellent performance under the bar as India defeated Ireland 2-1 in the shootout to set up a final clash against Spain in the FIH Hockey Women*s Nations Cup here on Friday.

In the regulation time, both teams were locked 1-1 after India bounced back through Udita*s 45th minute penalty corner conversion to cancel out Naomi Carrol*s 13th minute strike.

In the shootout, India struck through Lalremsiami and Sonika in their second and third attempts.

Ireland managed a solitary strike in the shootout from their third attempt through Hannah McLoughlin.

Savita stood tall under the bar and foiled Ellen Curran*s strike with her resolute defence as it went down the wire with Kathryn Mullan needing to score from Ireland*s last attempt to keep them alive.

But Mullan shot wide as India sealed another shootout win to make the final.

Also Read: We can*t afford so many cards: Men*s Hockey skipper Manpreet Singh

The Indian women*s team had beaten New Zealand by an identical margin in the shootout to win the Commonwealth Games bronze earlier this year. Earlier in the day, Spain rode on Sara Barrios* 14th minute field goal to defeat Japan 1-0 and seal their final berth. The lower-ranked Ireland team (No 13) drew first blood with a brilliant counter-attacking run from the right flank as Carrol took the possession before slotting it past Savita with a powerful strike. Trailing by one goal at the half-time, India failed to create any clear cut chance, while their penalty corner conversions continued to elude them with Gurjit Kaur and Navneet wasting chances.

They had a golden chance to equalise with Deep Grace Ekka taking the strike from close range as the ball took a deflection from Vandana Katariya but only to ricochet off the crossbar in the second quarter. However, Udita slammed the ball from a low strike just five seconds before the third quarter to bring up the equaliser. Having missed a flurry of attempts, world number eight India finally managed to score from a penalty and breach Irish goalkeeper Elizabeth Murphy*s defence seconds before the end of third quarter.

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