Indian women’s team book their berth in 2020 Tokyo Olympics with a stunning 6-5 win over USA on aggregate after completing a two-legged qualifier at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Saturday.
India’s hockey queen, Rani Rampal (49′) scored the only goal of the second leg for India but that was enough for the hosts to book their place in next year’s Summer Olympic Games.
USA managed to rattle the Indian hopes and led the home team 4-0 at half time after goals from Amanda Magadan (5′, 28′), Kathleen Sharkey (14′) and Alyssa Parker (20′). With these goals, India lost the four goal advantage they had at the start of the match and USA levelled the proceedings at 5-5 on aggregate.
India women were in immense pressure and penetrated USA circle on a couple of occasions after that but were not able to find the net.
But in 4th quarter, Indian captain Rani Rampal pulled out a stunner with a powerful strike to make India ahead by 6-5 on aggregate. USA tried to make a comeback with full strength but India didn’t commit a mistake and finally booked their berth in Olympics 2020 after a nail-biting finish.
The win becomes more special as this will be the only 3rd time in history that Indian women’s hockey will make their presence in Olympics after Moscow (1980) and Rio (2016) Games.
Yesterday, Indian women put up a scintillating show against the United States to completely overwhelm the visitors by 5-1. Gurjit Kaur scored twice while Lilima, Sharmila and Navneet found a goal each in India’s big win.
Indian men’s hockey team also had a decent outing as they defeated Russia by 4-2 in the first leg of Olympic Qualifiers. Later in the day, the Indian men’s hockey team will play Russia in the second leg at the same venue
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