Women’s Hockey World Cup 2018 is the first instance where India and Ireland both are participating in the World Cup as India makes its 7th appearance while Ireland makes its 4th appearance. Despite 10th seed India appearing as favorite, it will be an upset if Ireland loses. In Round 1 match, Ireland shocked 2014 semifinalists, but India couldn’t upset the 2nd seed hosts. Even on Head-to-head since 2011, Indians have lost all the four matches to Ireland, who seek a win to become first team from any group to enter World Cup 2018 Quarterfinals as No. 1 team in Points Tally.
About Indian Women’s Team
In previous 6 appearances, India’s best finish was 4th in 1974. Since then, they have a finish of 7th (1978), 11th (1983 and 2006), 9th (2010) and 12th (1998). During the last few years, with their improved performances the expectation is higher. But, against Ireland they have a tough challenge considering their past dismal record of last few years whenever both have played in the same tournament.
Indian Squad for 2018 Women’s Hockey World Cup
India vs Ireland Head-to-Head
2017: Irealnd defeated India 2-1 to finish 7th in Champions League.
In 2016, they won 2 matches against India in Hawkes Bay Cup at New Zealand. First they drubbed India 4-0 and later in knockout they emerged winner on Strokes 4-3 (1-1).
2011: Hockey Champions Challenge Ireland won 2-1
In the tournaments, where both have played Ireland has finished higher in all.
Hockey Champions Challenge:
2011: Ireland 6th, India 7th
2012: Ireland 3rd, India 7th
2014: Ireland 2nd, India 8th
Ireland, currently ranked 16th has been a team on rise. They have been improving their final rankings in almost all world championships and defeating big nations.
In World Cup, they played before in 1986, 1994, 2002. 11th position in 1994 at home (Dublin) is their best finish so far. The current 16th seeds have also played last year at World Hockey League Semifinal at Johannesburg. At group they drew with Japan (1-1), Germany (2-2) defeated Poland 2-0 and lost to England 3-2 to reach quarterfinals where they lost to Argentina 2-1. In 5th-8th place qualification they lost to South Africa (3-0) but defeated India 2-1 to finish 7th.
Coach: Graham Shaw
Captain: Katie Mullan
Vice Captains: Nicola Evans,
Goalkeepers: Ayeisha McFerran, Grace O’Flanagan
Defenders: Yvonne O’Byrne, Hannah Matthews, Elena Tice, Zoe Wilson, Roisin Upton, Shirley McCay
Midfield: Katie Mullan, Nicci Daly, Gillian Pinder, Megan Frazer, Chloe Watkins, Lizzie Colvin, Ali Meeke
Forward: Nicola Evans, Anna O’Flanagan, Deirdre Duke
Going by Head-to-Head record, Ireland may be celebrating their QF entry as Group Topper even before the match and the only question that the match can answer is: Will India cause an upset?