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Australia vs India
2018 Commonwealth Games Women's Hockey semi-final, April 12
|Gold Coast Hockey Centre|
The Australian Hockeyroos have marched through the group stage of the Commonwealth Games without many issues, but that might be all about to change when they take on one of the favourites, India, in the second semi-final. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 9:15pm (AEST).
Australia have barely faced a battle in the group stage. Their only bump in the road was against one of the better sides in the world, New Zealand, when they drew 0-all.
On that day, the Hockeyroos looked more like the team presented at the Olympics in 2016 than the one who has beaten everyone in their path since then.
The nil-all draw saw Australia squander countless opportunities and struggle to break the game open at other moments, both elements they will have to avoid if they hope to get the better of India.
With the exception of that game, Australia have run up eight goals in their other three. Their attack isn’t the strong point though, with the Hockeyroos yet to concede a goal during the tournament.
Their defence has been excellent at getting back behind the ball and defending every potentially dangerous situation which has come to life.
India are expected to cause plenty more of those dangerous situations though. The sub-continent nation are one of the best in the world. They sit tenth in the world rankings, but arguably, are better than that.
The Indian team finished second in their group behind England, but that could have easily been reversed had they not lost to Wales in their first game. They haven’t lost a game since, beating England 2-1 on Monday.
In that performance Navneet Kaur led the charge, as India came back from 1-0 down, scoring two goals in a period of six minutes. If they find a way to get on top of the match and be the dominant team, Australia steely defence will be put to the test.
Sustained pressure is the only way India are going to break it down though, while Australia, who have struggled on offence, could face similar problems, but at the same time, should find a way to score.
Australia, with the home crowd behind them are going to be strong, but then, India are no easy beats. It wouldn’t even surprise me if we see a shootout at the end of this one, but I’ll take Australia to advance to the gold medal game.
Australia 2 – India 1.
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