The history could not repeat itself as a resurgent India could not get past the lower ranked Ireland who had to pay 550 Euros each to appear in the world cup. India fumbled at the crucial juncture and went down 3-1 in penalty shoot-out. A win from here would have ensured a semi final berth after a span of 40 years for India but not to be today as the determined Ireland proved too good on the day.
Earlier in the match, both the teams were compact in their defense that didn’t let a scoring opportunity for the opposition team. The match was forced into a penalty shootout to determine the semi finalists and it was the Irish women who kept their nerves to edge past India.
Both India and Ireland could not score in the first two attempts thanks to efforts of the goalkeepers Ayeisha McFerran and Savita Punia.
After two failed attempt Ireland finally draw first blood when Roisin Upton put the ball past the net and Navjot Kaur failed to convert for India in the third attempt that brought all the pressure on women in Blue.
Alison Meeke’s magical stickwork was too good for Indian goalkeeper Savita Punia as Ireland went 2-0 up.
Reena Khokhar kept her nerves to score for India in the fourth attempt but a conversion from Chloe Watkins ensured that Ireland are progressing through to the next round.
There were tears all around, one corner was disappointed for not making to its second ever semi final in the world cup and one corner’s rolling tears were brought down by the immense happiness.
Ireland are the second lowest team in the tournament but their inspiring run had surprised one and all. They topped their group which had the likes of much higher opposition in England, United States and India. The women in green will now face world ranked 11 Spain in the semi final on Saturday.