India clinch gold in women's hockey

SAG-Hockey-PTI Women hockey final match played between India(blue ) and Srilanka (red ) during the 12th South Asian Games 2016 (SAG) in Guwahati on Thursday | PTI

A rampaging India stamped their formidable superiority in women's hockey in the region as they steamrolled Sri Lanka 10-0 in the summit clash to clinch gold in the 12th South Asian Games here on Thursday.

Rani Rampal struck four times as India continued with the ruthless mauling of their opponent till the end of their campaign.

The Sri Lankans were left bruised and battered as they could not resist the goal-hungry Indian girls who were coming from everywhere at the Moullana Tayabullah Hockey Stadium here.

The Indians had come here with a mix of some senior players and some youngsters with the aim to avail as many as international games as part of preparations for the Rio Olympics. India had last year qualified for the Olympics after a gap of 36 years.

The opposition side were a non-descript one, not even listed in the FIH ranking charts while India are 13th in the world but the Neil Hawgood-coached team did not relax a bit throughout the match as they looked for goals all the time.

India had beaten Sri Lanka 12-1 in the group match.

India took the lead as soon as the match started and they were 2-0 up inside the first five minutes with goals from Rani Rampal and Sushila Devi. Preeti Dubey made it 3-0 in the 8th minute with a full blooded strike inside the Sri Lankan circle.

For nearly 15 minutes, there was no goal from the Indian side with the Sri Lankan goalkeeper making two fine saves during this period.

But the ruthless Indian forward line could not be kept quiet this evening as they were raiding the Sri Lankan citadel all the time and the girls from the island defending their goal all the time.

It was Sonika who found the target in the 22nd minute after a lull before Punam Barla (30th) and star striker Rani Rampal (32nd) scoring in quick succession.

India got five penalty corners in the first half and that showed the domination by the home side.

As soon as the match resumed, India quickly got two penalty corners but could not convert them before the third one bore fruit. Captain Ritu Rani slammed the ball home from a variation in the penalty corner strike.

India completed the tally with Rani Rampal scoring again in the 57th minute and 65th minute, while Jaspreet Kaur finding the net at 70th minute.

Nepal took the bronze.

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