Indian hockey

Women’s HWL Semi-final: Indian defence woke up late in tale of two halves against Argentina

On the scale of progress though, the Indian defence, led by goalkeepers Savita and Rajani Etimarpu, showed decent improvement.

India’s 0-3 defeat against Argentina at the women’s Hockey World league (HWL) Semifinals in Johannesburg on Sunday was a story of two halves – one in which the girls were outplayed to concede three goals, and the second during which the defence woke up while the attack showed some teeth.

India played with the monkey off its back. A place in the quarterfinals was assured, but the Argentina test presented its own difficulties. And playing England in the quarters will be another stiff challenge.

On the scale of progress, the Indian defence, led by goalkeepers Savita and Rajani Etimarpu, has shown decent improvement. But Argentina started like a gush of adrenaline, scoring in the second minute itself through Rocio Sanchez. Maria Granatto provided a cushion in the 14th and Noel Barrionuevo’s 25th-minute penalty-stroke conversion put the game beyond India.

Thirty minutes is a long time in hockey, and India showed a lot of promise in the second half. But weak penalty corner set-up, scoreline pressure and Argentina’s speed on turnovers and in falling back kept Rani Rampal’s team under the pump.

Sjoerd Marijne’s reworked strategy for the second half did some trick, in that India didn’t concede anymore goals. But it was also due to Argentina’s own felony who failed to make use of nine penalty corners. A word of praise, however, must be reserved for goalkeeper Rajani who replaced Savita at half-time. She stood like a wall against a barrage of Argentine attacks and ended with a clean sheet.

Like previously in the tournament, among the attackers it was only Vandana Katariya and Rani Rampal who made some sort of an impression. But Marijne’s worry of losing possession repeatedly led to missed opportunities, the best of which came through Vandana’s deflection in the first quarter and Rani’s shot at goal in the 59th minute.

The defeat pushed India to fourth place in Pool B with four points from a win against Chile and a draw against South Africa. Interestingly, both Chile (20th) and South Africa (13th) are ranked lower than India (12th). This leaves India to play Pool A toppers England. Both of India’s defeats in the pool stage came against higher-ranked teams: 1-4 against USA (6th) and 3-0 against Argentina (3rd).

India’s quarterfinal opponents England, ranked second in the world, won three matches to top Pool B with nine points. Their only defeat came as an upset against Japan 0-1.

In the other three quarterfinals on Tuesday, USA will play Japan, Argentina take on Ireland and hosts South Africa will be up against Germany.

For the record, all teams featuring in the top 10 of FIH rankings – England, Argentina, USA and Germany – are drawn against teams out of top 10; and India will face the top-ranked team in the tournament, England.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Virat Kohli and Ola come together to improve Delhi's air quality

The onus of curbing air-pollution is on citizens as well

A recent study by The Lancet Journal revealed that outdoor pollution was responsible for 6% of the total disease burden in India in 2016. As a thick smog hangs low over Delhi, leaving its residents gasping for air, the pressure is on the government to implement SOS measures to curb the issue as well as introduce long-term measures to improve the air quality of the state. Other major cities like Mumbai, Pune and Kolkata should also acknowledge the gravitas of the situation.

The urgency of the air-pollution crisis in the country’s capital is being reflected on social media as well. A recent tweet by Virat Kohli, Captain of the Indian Cricket Team, urged his fans to do their bit in helping the city fight pollution. Along with the tweet, Kohli shared a video in which he emphasized that curbing pollution is everyone’s responsibility. Apart from advocating collective effort, Virat Kohli’s tweet also urged people to use buses, metros and Ola share to help reduce the number of vehicles on the road.

In the spirit of sharing the responsibility, ride sharing app Ola responded with the following tweet.

To demonstrate its commitment to fight the problem of vehicular pollution and congestion, Ola is launching #ShareWednesdays : For every ​new user who switches to #OlaShare in Delhi, their ride will be free. The offer by Ola that encourages people to share resources serves as an example of mobility solutions that can reduce the damage done by vehicular pollution. This is the fourth leg of Ola’s year-long campaign, #FarakPadtaHai, to raise awareness for congestion and pollution issues and encourage the uptake of shared mobility.

In 2016, WHO disclosed 10 Indian cities that made it on the list of worlds’ most polluted. The situation necessitates us to draw from experiences and best practices around the world to keep a check on air-pollution. For instance, a system of congestion fees which drivers have to pay when entering central urban areas was introduced in Singapore, Oslo and London and has been effective in reducing vehicular-pollution. The concept of “high occupancy vehicle” or car-pool lane, implemented extensively across the US, functions on the principle of moving more people in fewer cars, thereby reducing congestion. The use of public transport to reduce air-pollution is another widely accepted solution resulting in fewer vehicles on the road. Many communities across the world are embracing a culture of sustainable transportation by investing in bike lanes and maintenance of public transport. Even large corporations are doing their bit to reduce vehicular pollution. For instance, as a participant of the Voluntary Traffic Demand Management project in Beijing, Lenovo encourages its employees to adopt green commuting like biking, carpooling or even working from home. 18 companies in Sao Paulo executed a pilot program aimed at reducing congestion by helping people explore options such as staggering their hours, telecommuting or carpooling. After the pilot, drive-alone rates dropped from 45-51% to 27-35%.

It’s the government’s responsibility to ensure that the growth of a country doesn’t compromise the natural environment that sustains it, however, a substantial amount of responsibility also lies on each citizen to lead an environment-friendly lifestyle. Simple lifestyle changes such as being cautious about usage of electricity, using public transport, or choosing locally sourced food can help reduce your carbon footprint, the collective impact of which is great for the environment.

Ola is committed to reducing the impact of vehicular pollution on the environment by enabling and encouraging shared rides and greener mobility. They have also created flat fare zones across Delhi-NCR on Ola Share to make more environment friendly shared rides also more pocket-friendly. To ensure a larger impact, the company also took up initiatives with City Traffic Police departments, colleges, corporate parks and metro rail stations.

Join the fight against air-pollution by using the hashtag #FarakPadtaHai and download Ola to share your next ride.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Ola and not by the Scroll editorial team.