London: Stung by a lower-ranked Ireland, Indian women’s hockey team will need at least a draw against USA in Sunday’s pool B match to keep their hopes of reaching the knockout stage of the World Cup alive. After settling for a draw against world no 2 England in the opening match despite grabbing an early lead, Rani Rampal-led India suffered a disappointing 0-1 loss to Ireland in their second round robin match.
Only the top teams from the four pools directly qualify for the quarterfinals, while the remaining four slots would be filled from the cross-over stage. The sides finishing second and third in their respective pools would clash with each other in the cross-over stage with the four group toppers making it to the quarterfinals. With one draw (1-1 against England), one loss (0-1) against Ireland, India are placed third in the Pool B points table. USA too have drawn once against England and lost 1-3 to Ireland.
Though both the teams have one point each, India is ahead due to goal difference.