Indian women reach semi-final of Champions Challenge II

June 22nd, 2009 - 8:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Kazan (Russia), June 22 (IANS) Ritu Rani scored a hat-trick as Indian women’s team thrashed Canada 8-1 in a pool A match to book a semi-final berth in the Champions Challenge II hockey tournament here Monday.
India beat Belgium in their first match Sunday and qualified for the semi-final with two wins. They will play the last group match against Belarus Wednesday.

Ritu (54th minute, 63rd and 70th), Rani Rampal (57th, 61st), Deepika Thakur (6th), Surinder Kaur (29th) and Mamta Kharab (67th) scored for India.

India were struggling to get their act together in the first half, but found their way in the last quarter of the second half in which they slammed six goals.

Deepika opened the scoring in the 17th minute only to be equalized four minutes later by Jessalyn Walkey.

Indian skipper Surinder Kaur scored through a rebound off a penalty corner shot, six minutes before the break.

Ritu scored her first goal in 54th minute, and then there was no stopping the Indian forwards who pumped in five more goals.

The winners of the eight-nation tournament will qualify for the Champions Challenge I.

The Champions Challenge II is a new International Hockey Federation (FIH) world level event introduced to the calendar this year, featuring the teams that did not qualify for the Champions Trophy or the Champions Challenge I.

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