Wales women lost 1-3 to India in their second pool match of the Commonwealth Games.
India was always going to be a tough match. Wales put up a strong defence with some great defensive play and superb saves by goalkeeper Rose Thomas in a much-improved performance from their first pool match Friday.
It was a strong first half from Wales with good momentum and opportunities.
They held off India’s attacks well in the first quarter. An early penalty corner was saved by Thomas and gave Sophie Robinson the chance to run the ball the full length of the pitch to loud cheers from the Welsh supporters in the crowd.
The second quarter started the same, with Wales defending well to prevent Indian shots on goal.
An Indian penalty corner was expertly saved on the line by Thomas, but a Welsh foot in the circle brought another corner in quick succession. This time, Vandana Katariya found the back board for India in the 26th minute.
Two minutes later, Kaur Gurjit scored the second for India, again from a penalty corner.
The second half got off to a slower start, before a flurry of shots by India were all denied by Thomas, keeping Wales in the game.
Hope came for Wales in the last minute of the third quarter. Xenna Hughes fired the ball into the goal from a penalty corner. The crowd held their breath as play was checked by the video umpire and erupted in cheers when the goal was awarded.
However, a penalty corner goal in the 48th minute from Vandana Katariya, her second of the evening, dashed Welsh hopes of a comeback and eased India to victory.
Wales have a rest day tomorrow before they take on Ghana in their third pool match on Monday.
Reflecting post-match, Beth Bingham said how proud she was of the squad’s performance.
“We were disappointed coming off the back of yesterday, so we had a point to prove today. Defensively we were really, really strong and we scored a really good corner. India’s corners are always well executed so our short defence is something we are proud of.”
“We just didn’t create enough in the attacking circle. It would have been nice if we had a few more corners and could have shown them what we can do.”
“All in all, really proud of the girls today. Coming off the back of a difficult game yesterday it was a really positive performance.”
Commenting on the loud support the squad received from the crowd throughout the match, Bingham added “We don’t get to play in front of a home crowd very often. Loads of family and friends have been able to travel over to Birmingham which is great and so important to us to have them there. We could feel them behind us the whole game which really egged us on.”