London: Under pressure Indian women’s hockey team produced a spirited performance to come back from a goal down and hold higher-ranked USA to a 1-1 draw in their last Pool B match and progress to the knock-out stages of the World Cup here on Sunday.
The draw enabled India too keep their campaign afloat in the tournament and progress to the cross overs while the Americans crashed out of the event. As per the rules of the tournament the top teams from the four pools progress directly to the quarterfinals while the second and third placed teams will feature in the cross overs to decide the remaining four spots of the last eight round.
Margaux Paolino (11th minute) broke the deadlock for world no.7 USA before skipper Rani Rampal equalised for 10th ranked India in the 31st minute. The Indians started brightly with good forays into the US citadel but the forwards failed to breach the rival defence. Trailing by a goal, the Indians came out all guns blazing after the change of ends and drew level a minute into the third quarter through skipper Rampal.
(With inputs from PTI)