The Indian women’s hockey on Friday pulled off a spectacular win against the US in their Olympics qualifying match in the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar. The US will need to first overcome the four-goal deficit in their second leg match against India on Saturday.
India’s goal scorers were Lilima Minz, Sharmila Devi, Gurjit Kaur, Navneet Kaur. Indian women led the match 1-0 at the first half. India’s last four goals came in the span of just 11 minutes. Though the US scored one late goal, but this was too late for the visitors.
Indian women were impressive both in their attack and defence.
Under the rule, the team with the highest number of goals over the two matches will qualify for the Olympics. In the event that the US women’s team are able to overcome the deficit and both teams are tied on goals after the second-leg, then there will be a penalty shootout to decide the winner.
India’s win on Friday assumed significance since the Indian women have been able to defeat the US team only once in their last 10 encounters. This was during the three-nation competition involving India, Canada and the US in 2016.
Elsewhere, Indian men’s team beat Russia 4-2 going into the second leg of the competition with a two-goal advantage. India’s scorers in the men’s competition against Russia were Harmanpreet Singh, Mandeep Singh and SV Sunil. Mandeep scored twice for India.
Everything going well, both Indian teams will be flying the country’s flag at the Tokyo Olympics next year.