Surbiton Hockey Club’s Giselle Ansley stars as Team GB pass India test to stay top of Rio 2016 pool B
Surbiton Hockey Club defender Giselle Ansley scored her eighth international goal as Great Britain overcame India 3-0 in the ladies hockey competition last night.
After a tough first quarter where Great Britain struggled to break a defensive Indian team down, it fell to Ansley to break the deadlock just before the interval.
Nicola White and Alex Danson added two further goals either side of half time to complete the victory.
The third Surbiton player in the GB squad, Georgie Twigg, was introduced from the bench in the sixth minute.
The first quarter followed a regular pattern of attack versus defence.
The resolute Indians frustrated the British attackers, restricting the European champions to a solitary chance.
That opportunity was speculative at best, a reverse stick strike that Danson lifted over the bar with Savita Punia in the Indian goal untroubled.
The second quarter yielded few further attempts, and the match was still scoreless when GB were awarded a penalty corner five minutes from half time.
The ball was fizzed to Webb in the second position on the circle, who teed it up for Surbiton teammate Ansley to fire into the bottom right corner.
With the pressure relieved, GB had the ball in the back of the net less than two minutes later.
Danson and Sophie Bray knitted together a tight move in the penalty circle to allow White to tap in.
And it was Danson who was ready to tap in a few minutes after the break, benefitting from some impressive play by Lily Owsley on the left wing.
Halfway through the third quarter Ansley had an opportunity for a second penalty corner goal, but her shot only made it as far as the onrushing defender on this occasion.
The fourth quarter ensured it was GB goalkeeper Maddie Hinch who saw some action, as she was forced into an impressive save when one-on-one with Vandana Katariya moments before full time.
Bray and Danson had further opportunities to add to the scoreline in the second half, but in the end the three goal margin was enough to keep GB comfortably ahead of the USA on goal difference.
Ansley said: “We always knew India was going to be a tough game.
“They like being in close contact so we just stayed out of range and didn’t get drawn into their sort of game.
“Six points out of six is the perfect start because every game is a tough one so grinding out the results at this stage is important.”
The 2012 bronze medallists play their next game at 5.30pm on Wednesday against Argentina, ranked seventh in the world.
They still have the US and Japan to play, but have already faced arguably the toughest test in their pool, defeating Australia in their first game of the tournament.
With only one point from two games, India will need to pick up at least two victories in their remaining games against the US, Argentina and Australia to have any hope of qualification.
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