Indian women's hockey team wins FIH series finals

Wednesday 26th June 2019 07:37 EDT

Indian women's hockey team won the FIH Women's Series finals after beating hosts Japan 3-1 in the final held at the Hiroshima Hockey Stadium. The Indian team was helped by an early goal from captain Rani in the 3rd minute, but conceded an equalizer in the 11th minute as Japan's Kanon Mori scored. A brace from Gurjit Kaur in the 45th and 60th minutes, however, saw India register an emphatic victory. The World No 9 Indian team had already qualified for the FIH Olympic Qualifiers 2019 after securing a place in the final of the competition.

India take lead in the 3rd minute as Rani stepped up to score from her team's first penalty corner. The Indian skipper struck the ball sweetly along the ground and beat Japanese goalkeeper Akio Tanaka to give India a 1-0 lead. India's dominance saw them win their second penalty corner in the 9th minute, but it went in vain. The second quarter also saw India maintain possession but forward Vandana Katariya misses a glorious opportunity in the 18th minute. Japan, on the other hand, also started to get into their rhythm.

India controlled ball possession well as they made five circle entries compared to Japan's zero. The likes of Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam and Lilima Minz stepped up to help break Japanese attacks, and rotated the ball comfortably to create opportunities for India. However, a better performance by the Japanese defence in the final few minutes of the second quarter meant that both the teams went into the half-time break level at 1-1.

India stepped up their attacks again in the opening minutes of the third quarter winning two PCs, but could not convert them into goals. Both the teams tried to to take the important lead, with Japan making two circle entries and getting two shots away, while India made eight entries and took five shots. It was drag-flicker Gurjit who was India's saviour yet again as she dispatched the ball into the top left corner of the Japanese goal to give her side a 2-1 lead in the 45th minute. With just five minutes remaining in the match, Japan decided to take off their goalkeeper for an extra outfield player, and that helped them in creating some opportunities. However, it also worked against them in the last minute of the match as Gurjit, the top scorer of the tournament, scored her second goal of the match through a penalty corner to make it 3-1 and wrap up the victory for India.

comments powered by Disqus

to the free, weekly Asian Voice email newsletter