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Indian women miss bronze in four-nation meet (Lead, With corrections)

New Zealand,Sports, Mon, 16 Apr 2012 IANS

Auckland, April 16 (IANS) Indian women's hockey team missed the bronze medal as they went down 1-2 to the US by a golden goal in the play-off at Harbour Hockey Stadium in the first leg of the Four Nation Tournament played here Monday.


Tied 1-1 at the end of the hooter, India conceded a penalty stroke which was converted by US captain Lauren Crandall in the 73rd minute.


The golden goal dashed India's hope of registering their first win of the tournament.


India and the US played a defensive game, and it was the latter who took the lead in the 47th minute through a penalty corner. Shannon Taylor dragged the ball beating defender Joydeep Kaur to sound the board.


India started pressing and made some good penetrations in the circle. But they were not able to score as Indian forwards held the ball a few seconds extra that allowed US defenders to come back to defend their goal.


India finally managed to draw level by scoring in the 56th minute when Poonam Rani penetrated into the circle to give a tailor-made pass to Chanchan Thokchom and the latter made no mistake to tip in the ball.


The US got four penalty corners until the final whistle. On the other hand, for the Indians, once again Poonam could not give the final touch to Asunta's well directed ball.


After the final whistle in the extra time, a hard hit rose alarmingly from Asunta's stick inside the circle and the umpire gave a penalty corner.


A direct shot by Shannon hit Joydeep's foot and umpire gave a penalty stroke which was converted by Lauren Crandall in the 73rd minute.


In the final match, New Zealand beat Australia by 3-2 to win the tournament.


The second leg of the Four Nation Tournament will be played at Lloyd Elsmore Hockey Stadium in Pakuranga, New Zealand, April 18-22.


India will take on the US April 18, followed by Australia and New Zealand.


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