London: Their erratic campaign back on track, the Indian women’s hockey team would now be aiming to secure its first World Cup semifinal spot in 44 years by extracting revenge from giant-killers Ireland in the last-eight stage on Thursday.
India registered their first win of the tournament by sailing past Italy in a quarterfinal play-off last night and if they manage to beat Ireland, it would ensure them only their second appearance in the World Cup last-four.
The only time India had managed to enter the semi-finals of the show-piece event was back in 1974 in Mandelieu, France where they eventually finished fourth. In the last edition of the tournament in Rosario, Argentina, India had finished a disappointing eighth.
Having come second best in their last two meetings, it would be quite a task for The Rani Rampal-led India to beat Ireland. The Irish have been in ominous form having topped Pool B ahead of higher-ranked USA and India.
(With inputs from PTI)