India dished out a commanding performance to defeat Canada 3-0 in a classification match in the women's hockey event at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi on Monday. But the silver medallists at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, India only managed to finish fifth in the campaign.
Ritu Rani (18th minute) scored in the opening half while Thokchom Chanchan Devi (66th) and Saba Anjum (70th) sounded the board after the breather to ensure a comfortable win for the home team and draw the curtains on an otherwise disappointing campaign.
The Indian eves were by far the dominant side on display as they controlled the proceedings throughout the 70 minutes.
India went on the prowl from the onset and got the lead in the 18th minute. Ritu connected a Chanchan Devi pass and scored through a fierce hit from top of the circle.
Thereafter, India mounted continuous raids into the rival citadel only to be denied by luck and an agile Canadian custodian Amanda Stone.
On three occasions, young Rani Rampal had the opportunities to score but she failed to send them past the Canadian goalie.
Just five minutes from the break, Rampal was unlucky not to have doubled the lead when her fierce reverse hit found the wood work.
India came out with same intensity in the second half, mounting attack after attack on the Canadian goal but their forwards failed to add the finishing touches.
However, lady luck finally smiled on the Indian eves as they scored two goals in the last four minutes to take the match out of Canada's reach.
Veteran Saba dazzled in the second half with brilliant runs from the flanks and some testing crosses.
Four minutes from the hooter, Chanchan Devi doubled India's lead, tapping the ball into the Canadian goal after receiving a cross from Saba from the left flank.
Saba once again came into action in the final minute of the match when she scored from a goal-mouth melee.
Although India won comfortably, penalty corners still continue to be a major concern for coach Sandeep Somesh. The Indian team had earned six penalty corners but they didn't convert even one of them.