In an exhilarating classification match of the FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup 2023, the Indian junior women’s hockey team displayed remarkable resilience in their tournament’s last game, where they registered a thrilling 3-2 victory against the USA in sudden death following a thrilling penalty shootout on Sunday morning.
The game had ended 2-2 in regular time, showcasing an intense battle.
Notably, India’s victory in this contest secured their 9th-place finish in the tournament, as per a Hockey India press release.
During the allocated 60 minutes, India’s Manju Chorsiya (11’) and Sunelita Toppo (57’) scored a goal each, while Kiersten Thomassey (27’, 53’) netted a brace for the USA. The tense penalty shootout witnessed Mumtaz Khan and Rutaja Dadaso Pisal successfully converting their chances for India, while the latter also scored in sudden death to secure the win for India. On the opposing side, Katie Dixon and Olivia Bent-Cole managed to score for the USA in the penalty shoot-out.
India dominated at the start, pressing the USA relentlessly and penetrating their defence multiple times. Manju Chorsiya’s (11’) perfectly placed goal from the first penalty corner gave India a well-deserved lead in the game. Buoyed by this advantage, the Indian team continued their aggressive play, keeping the USA under constant pressure.
However, the USA still managed to win a penalty corner in the very last minute of the quarter but failed to capitalise on that as the opening quarter concluded with India leading 1-0.
Aiming to retain their lead in the second quarter, India focused on ball possession while consistently penetrating the USA’s circle. Despite their efforts, the USA defended solidly, thwarting India’s attempts to widen the gap while launching counter-attacks themselves. This tactic proved effective when Kiersten Thomassey’s (27’) precise strike levelled the score, showcasing the USA’s resilience. The second quarter concluded without further goals, and both teams headed into halftime with the score tied at 1-1.
Eager to reclaim their advantage, India launched a barrage of attacks in the third quarter, relentlessly pressuring the USA’s defence. Despite several near misses, including from a penalty corner, India couldn’t convert their opportunities into goals.