India trounced Sri Lanka 10-0 in the final to win the women’s hockey gold at the Maulana Tayyabullah hockey stadium on Thursday (11th).
The gold completed India’s dominance in the three-team tournament as women’s hockey made its debut in the South Asian Games.
India scored half a dozen goals without a reply in the first half as the experienced Rani Rampal opened the scoring in the second minute of the match. Rampal scored another at the end of the sequence (31st minute) as Sushila Pukhrambam (4th), Preeti Dubey (8th), Soudarya Yendala (23rd) and Punam Barla (29th – penalty corner) scored the remaining four in between. Sri Lanka was reduced to defending with 10 players on most of the occasions in an effort to prevent the marauding Indians from scoring more.
After the first session’s pounding, the Indians appeared to relax their grip in the second half as Sri Lanka looked hardly inclined to attack. Despite that the host scored four more, three of which came through penalty corner conversions. Captain Ritu Rani converted a penalty corner in the 45th minute to make it 7-0 before Rani Rampal struck successively with a field goal in the 58th minute and converted a penalty corner in the 64th minute to enhance her individual tally to four in the match and make it 9-0 for the host. Jaspreet Kaur rounded off the scoring, converting the 11th penalty corner coming India’s way in the 69th minute.
India, which had defeated Sri Lanka 12-1 in the league stage, thus appeared less severe against same side in the final. India had trounced Nepal 24-0 in the other league match to make it a total of 46-1 in the tournament. This came as a big incentive for India ahead of the Olympics at Rio de Janeiro, where it has qualified after a break of 36 years.
Final: India 10 (Rani Rampal 2, 31, 58, 64-pc, Sushila Pukhrambam 4, Preeti Dubey 8, Soudarya Yendala 23, Punam Barla 29-pc, Ritu Rani 45-pc, Jaspreet Kaur 69-pc) bt Sri Lanka 0.