Indian women’s hockey team lost to Australia in the semi-finals at Birmingham by 3-0.
After scores were locked 1-1 at fulltime, the Hockeyroos won 3-0 in the penalty shootout.
Hockeyroos tweeted: “We are through to the Gold Medal Match after a thriller!”
In a bizarre turn of events, the Indian captain Savita Punia was denied a save off the first shot by Australian Rosie Malon. The umpire informed both teams that the match clock did not start with Indian striker Lalremsiami ready to take India’s first shot. Malone scored in a re-take to hand a 1-0 lead before Lalremsiami missed her shot.
Kaitlin Nobbs then scored for Australia off the second shot before Jocelyn Bartram made a save off Neha Goel. Amy Lawton then scored the third goal for Australia and with India requiring to convert to have a chance, Navneet Kaur missed the chance to score off the third shot to hand Australia the win.
Hockey India tweeted: “A tough result to take for #WomenInBlue. Now it’s all about the Bronze medal!”
Captain Savita Punia told media: “I can only say that it is tough for us but it’s part of the game.”
India’s coach Janneke Schopman told media after the match that it was tough. He added:
“It is tough and I think we’re trying as coaches to be able to…but that is life. It is emotional and there was so much at stake. Of course, they need to not be influenced by it, but they’re also humans and it did play a role. The players are sad and they should be sad. We fought really hard and were very close to playing in the final.”
Channel 7 commentator Alister Nicholson could be heard slamming the controversial play that gave Australia the extra shootout goal. Nicholson said in the commentary:
“That would be a national outrage if that happened to Australia.”
Former Hockeyroos star Georgie Parker also felt sad for the Indians Hockey team and said:
“It’s the most incredible way to win; most heartbreaking way to lose.”
International Hockey Federation tweeted their statement regarding the penalty shootout issue: “The process in place for such situations is that the penalty shootout has to be retaken, which was done. This incident will be thoroughly reviewed by the FIH in order to avoid any similar issues in the future.”
Australia will play England in the Hockey final after it also secured a spot with 2-0 shootout triumph against New Zealand. The Hockeyroos have won both and have four Commonwealth titles in the six completed editions of the Games.