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CWG 2018: Hockey: Skipper Rani guides Indian eves into semis

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Indian skipper Rani Rampal scored the only goal of the match in the 47th minute. Credit: Hockey India

Gold Coast (Australia), April 10: The Indian women's hockey team qualified for the semi-finals of the Gold Coast 2018 XXI Commonwealth Games as they defeated South Africa by 1-0 in their last Pool A match here at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre.

India only required a draw to progress to the semi-final as they had accumulated a tally of six points from three matches before they faced South Africa, who needed to win the match as they could only accumulate four points from their first three games. But a strong display in defence from the Indian side saw them continue their marvellous run at the Gold Coast 2018 XXI Commonwealth Games as skipper Rani Rampal scored the only goal of the match in the 47th minute.

The win made sure that India qualifies for the semi-finals of the competition as they are the second-ranked team in Pool A with nine points from four matches while England finished on top with a better goal difference.

Chief Coach Harendra Singh praised his players for qualifying for the semi-finals of CWG 2018. He said, "It was a difficult moment for us when we lost our first match against Wales, but the girls did not lose their composure and focus. They stuck together and took responsibility to perform for their nation which proved to be the key to their success in the last three matches. It was a tough match today against a strong team but the girls made the right choices and I am extremely proud of their performance."

Singh also spoke about the prospects of playing either New Zealand or hosts Australia in the semi-final of the competition. "We know it can be a difficult match against either of the two sides in the semi-final, but it becomes more of a mental challenge if we take it as a semi-final.

"Our goal is to do well in each match, and approach the next one like any other match. It is the first time we have qualified for the semi-final since 2006, therefore it is a huge chance for us to capitalize on this opportunity," said Singh. The Indian eves will play their semi-final fixture on Thursday (April 12).

Source: Hockey India Release

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    Story first published: Tuesday, April 10, 2018, 18:55 [IST]
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