The last time India faced Ghana was in the World League second round in 2014-15, which they won 13-0. But a lot has changed in Ghanaian hockey since then and he was introduced to the University of Birmingham Hockey Centre.
It was a bright start for India when dragflick ace Gurjit Kaur found the top left corner of the goal on the first penalty corner the team earned in the third minute.
It was obvious that Ghana initially struggled to adapt to the pace India generated, but what they lacked in skill they made up for in spirit and execution. They spent the first quarter defending their citadel with 10 players filling the circle, leaving India in considerable discomfort due to lack of space. But Ghana’s inexperience weighed on them as India doubled the lead in the 28th minute when Neha’s impressive run near the post was deflected by a defender.
The first half was frustrating for India and it showed on head coach Janneke Schopman’s face as penalty corners were wasted due to poor injection and execution.
Link-up play left a lot to be desired and players weren’t using the flanks. Throughout, the Ghanaian players gained confidence and even made some daring penetrations into the circle.
India improved their game after half-time. The score would have swelled had it not been for the exceptional efforts of goalkeeper Abigali Boye and the fearless defense of Adizatu Sulemana.
In the third quarter, India struck twice in quick succession. Monica found Sangita Kumari first, who put the ball into an empty net in the 36th minute. ‘
Gurjit followed that up with a penalty corner conversion three minutes later. Salima Tete added the finishing touch when Ghana skipper Nafisatu Umaru deflected the ball over the goal line.
India take on Wales on Saturday. Result: India 5 (Gurjit Kaur 3, 39; Neha 28, Sangita Kumari 36, Salima Tete 56) v Ghana 0