Hockey World Cup 2023: Sunday evening was very sad for the hockey fans of India. For 48 years, the wait to name the World Cup title has become longer. India had to face defeat at the hands of New Zealand in a very tight match. With this defeat, India’s journey in the World Cup being played in its own home ended. The biggest disappointment was that despite playing at home, the Indian team could not even make it to the quarter-finals. The real reason for India’s defeat was not being able to capitalize on the penalty corner.
When the Indian team won the bronze medal in the Tokyo Olympics, there was hope among the fans to return to the golden days of hockey. Fans were expected to repeat the same performance in the World Cup as well. Actually, the real reason for India’s success in Tokyo Olympics was to capitalize on penalty corners. In the Tokyo Olympics, India got 31 penalty corners, out of which it managed to convert 10 into goals.
But India failed to repeat that success in the World Cup being played at its own home. India got 26 penalty corners during the World Cup and managed to convert only 5 of them into goals.
The journey ended in the World Cup
Even in the crossover match played against New Zealand, not being able to capitalize on the penalty corner was a huge burden on Team India. India got four corners within the 22nd to 24th minute of the match. But Indian players were able to beat the goalkeeper only once. India earned a total of 10 penalty corners during the entire match. Despite this, the score remained equal to 3-3 in the stipulated time.
In the 52nd minute of the match, India had a chance to take the lead by converting a penalty corner. Although the Indian players missed there too. This lapse of the Indian players was so heavy that its journey in the World Cup came to an end.