Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite navigation system that is utilised to pinpoint the ground position of an object.
India waged a grim battle to stay alive in the tournament but a late goal shattered their hopes as they went down 2-3 to Belgium in their final Pool C match and crashed out of the Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup in Santiago, Chile.
This was India’s second successive defeat, having earlier lost to Germany 3-4. The girls in blue finished the league with only one win which they recorded against Canada 12-0 in their first outings.
Belgium topped the pool with all three wins, while Germany thrashed Canada 8-0 to finish second. Top two teams from each pool qualified for the knockout stage. India will now play for minor placing (9 to 16).
Annu (47’, 51’) scored a brace for India while Noa Schreurs (5’), France De Mot (42’) and Astrid Bonami (52’) netted a goal each for Belgium.
India opened the match with aggressive intent and quickly established a passing rhythm, applying a pressing game to exert pressure on Belgium.
Despite securing an early penalty corner, they failed to convert it. Belgium, however, not only defended solidly to deny their rivals an early advantage but also initiated counter-attacks. This strategy paid off when Noa Schreurs scored a remarkable goal, giving the side an early lead.
With the score in their favour, Belgium intensified their attacks and frequently penetrated the Indian circle. The opening quarter concluded with Belgium leading 1-0.
Determined to draw parity, India adopted an aggressive stance in the second quarter and looked to maintain possession of the ball.
Nevertheless, Belgium’s steadfast defence thwarted all the attempts, keeping their 1-0 lead at half-time as the second quarter ended goalless.
Keen to maintain their lead, Belgium prioritized ball possession in the third quarter while consistently penetrating India’s circle.
Despite their efforts, a remarkable save by Khushboo denied Belgium from furthering their advantage. However, Belgium eventually broke through as France De Mot skillfully converted a penalty corner, doubling their lead. The penultimate quarter concluded 2-0 in favour of Belgium.
In the final quarter, India launched a desperate offensive which led to their first goal of the match by Annu from a penalty corner, narrowing the deficit.
Buoyed by this breakthrough, India intensified their attacks, resulting in a crucial penalty stroke that Annu calmly converted, levelling the score. But, moments later, Belgium were also awarded a penalty stroke, which was slotted in by Astrid Bonami to put her side in front again.
“We were probably in one of the most difficult groups, and to win all the three matches is incredible. There was a bit of panic in the last quarter with India scoring two goals but we are happy that we held on to our nerves and won the game,” said Player of the Match Noa Schreurs.
In other matches, Australia beat 4-0 South Africa, Netherlands outplayed 7-0 Chile.