Hockey

FIH Series Finals: Indian women secure Olympic qualifiers berth

The Indian women’s hockey team celebrates the victory over Chile.

The Indian women’s hockey team celebrates the victory over Chile.   | Photo Credit: Courtesy Hockey India

Gurjit’s brace fetches handsome victory over Chile

Drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur scored a brace as India secured its place in the final round of the Tokyo Olympic qualifiers by beating Chile 4-2 in the semifinals of the women’s FIH Series Finals tournament here on Saturday.

The top two teams from the tournament have secured berths in the Olympic Qualifiers to be held later this year.

Gurjit (22nd, 37th minutes) struck twice, while Navneet Kaur (31st) and skipper Rani Rampal (57th) were the other scorers for India. Carolina Garcia (18th) and Manuela Urroz (43rd) scored the goals for Chile.

India will take on Japan in the summit clash on Sunday.

Japan beat Russia 3-1 in a penalty shoot-out in the other semifinal after the teams were locked 1-1 at the end of regulation time.

World No. 9 India was in for a surprise three minutes into the second quarter when Carolina scored a field goal on a counterattack.

Stunned by the goal, the Indians went on the offensive and drew parity four minutes later when Gurjit converted a penalty corner. The teams went into the break locked 1-1.

A minute after change of ends, India took the lead through Navneet, who picked up the ball from just outside the 25-yard circle, ran into the striking circle and slotted home with a powerful shot.

Six minutes later, India extended the lead through another penalty corner conversion by Gurjit.

Chile did not give up and earned two penalty corners in quick succession towards the dying stages of the third quarter but failed to capitalise on them.

In the 43rd minute, though, a poor clearance saw Chile regain possession and Urroz reduced the margin from a Denise Krimerman feed.

The fourth and final quarter witnessed a good fight till the 57th minute when Rani scored with a reverse hit off a pass from Lilima Minz.

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 4:01:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/hockey/fih-series-finals-indian-women-secure-olympic-qualifiers-berth/article28111708.ece

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