Rotterdam: Indian hockey women eked out a hard-fought 2-1 win over lower-ranked Chile in a play-off match to avoid the wooden-spoon and finish seventh in the FIH World League Round 3 on Saturday.
The 12th-placed Indians might be ranked six rungs above Chile (18) in world rankings, but they were given a run for their money by their South American rivals in the seventh-eighth place classification match. The Indian girls had to sweat it out to overcome a goal deficit and tame Chile after Camila Caram had given the South American side the lead in the 44th minute through a penalty corner conversion.
Chile's joy, however, was shortlived as Ritusha Kumari Arya restored parity for India three minutes later, pushing in from close range past goalkeeper Claudia Schuler from Lilima Minz's pass from the baseline.
Chanchan Devi Thokchom scored the winner for India in the 56th minute from a goalmouth melee. Chile got chances galore to draw level as they earned quite a few penalty corners in the closing phases of the match, but they failed to convert a single opportunity to finish last in the eight-team tournament.
The Indian men's team will face Spain on Sunday in the fifth-sixth place play-off match.