FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers: Indian women’s team seals place in SFs, outplays Italy 5-1

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Public TV English
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RANCHI: The Indian women’s hockey team kept their Paris Olympic dream alive as they put a dominating performance to outplay Italy by 5-1 in the ongoing FIH Olympic Qualifiers at the Marang Gomke Jaipal Singh Astroturf Hockey Stadium in Ranchi on Tuesday.

For the Indian women’s team, Udita (1′, 55′), Deepika (41′), Salima Tete (45′) and Navneet Kaur (53′) scored the goals while Camila Machin (60′) scored the lone goal for Italy.

Courtesy of the win against Italy, the hosts finished the pool stage in second place behind the USA and will face Germany in the semifinals on Thursday.

Salima Tete, who was outstanding against New Zealand on Sunday, gave the hosts a fantastic start as well. She earned India a penalty corner in the opening minute.

Playing her 100th international match for India, Udita took a step forward and beat Italian goalkeeper Augustina D’ascola with a strong drag flick. India may have been a touch careless in the last third of the first quarter, even if they had the early advantage, as Italy came dangerously close to scoring in the closing moments.

India captain and goalkeeper Savita Punia stopped Moras Guadalupe’s effort to score, despite the Italian player having a decent chance.

In the second quarter, India applied intense pressure on Italy in an attempt to score a second goal, but the visitors were able to withstand the strain. But Italy didn’t really do anything in the attacking end, and India led 1-0 at the break.

India came out all gun blazing in the third quarter and were rewarded with a penalty kick after Lalremsiami was hauled down from behind by Sofia Laurito. The set-piece opportunity was converted by Deepika, giving the home team a two-goal lead. In the last seconds of the third quarter, Salima Tete made it 3-0 for India.

Navneet Kaur took advantage of Italy’s attempts to press players forward in pursuit of a goal by scoring India’s fourth goal of the evening in the 53rd minute. To complete a convincing victory, Udita scored her second goal of the game from another penalty corner. With the game’s last play, Italy were able to score a consolation goal through Camila Machin. (ANI)

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