• Mon. Jun 24th, 2024

Determined Indian Women’s Hockey Team storms into the Semi-Finals; beats Italy 5-1

The Indian Women’s Hockey Team stormed into the Semifinals of the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers 2024 after a splendid 5-1 win against Italy here at the Marang Gomke Jaipal Singh Munda Astro Turf on Tuesday. India’s winning goals were scored by Udita (1′, 55′), Deepika (41′), Salima Tete (45′) and Navneet Kaur (53′). For Italy, Camila Machin saved the blushes by scoring the lone goal in the 60th minute.

In the next hurdle towards winning a Paris Olympics berth, India will take on table toppers of Pool A Germany in the Semi-Finals on 18th January while in the other Semi-Final USA will take on Japan.

Riding on a solid 3-1 win against New Zealand on Sunday, India began this match at a rollicking pace winning a PC in the very first minute of the match. Taking the strike, Udita, who made it to the scoresheet in the previous match, came up with a perfect slap shot to net the goal. The 1-0 lead in the 1st minute of the match gave India an ideal start, as they confidently built on their game in the following minutes.

While the second quarter remained goalless, India extended their lead in the third quarter with stupendous goals by Deepika in the 41st minute followed by a brilliant field goal by home-grown prodigy Salima Tete who hails from Simdega in Jharkhand.

It was forward Lalremsiami who set up India’s second goal scored by Deepika with her brave foray into the striking circle, taking on Italian goalie Lucia Ines Caruso in a one-on-one tackle. A foul on part of the Italian goalie fetched India a penalty stroke which was perfectly struck by dragflicker Deepika. Only moments later, Salima Tete, buoyed by the cheers of her home crowd drove into the right flank only to take a successful shot on goal. This goal put India ahead by 3-0, a comfortable position to be in entering the final quarter.

While there were a few chances for Italy to score in the final quarter after earning a PC, India’s defence was on par to keep their lead intact. On the other hand, India was spot-on when they were awarded a PC in the 55th minute. Making her 100th game truly special, Udita managed yet another perfect conversion making it a double in her name. She was also awarded the Player of the Match for her efforts. Though India would have liked to keep a clean slate, they conceded a goal in the dying moments of the match when Camila Machin scored in the 60th minute.

On 18th January India will take on Germany in the Semi-Finals at 1930 hrs.

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