Hockey: India faces Japan in must-win Paris Olympics qualifier

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India v Germany – Photo: Hockey India

By Asia Samachar | India |

The Indian women’s hockey team remains one win away from qualifying for the Paris Olympics after losing to Germany 4-3 in a shootout after a 2-2 draw in regulation time. India will today (Jan 19) face Japan in the third-place playoff.

Germany denied India an early ticket to the the Paris Olympics when the European side won 4-3 in a penalty shootout after a 2-2 draw in regulation time.

India had the perfect start to the game, as Deepika converted from a penalty corner in the first quarter, but Germany were always in ascendancy, and had almost double the number of circle entries compared to India, reported ESPN.

They leveled the game on the stroke of half-time through the excellent Charlotte Stapenhorst, who sold a dummy to Udita Duhan and dinked superbly over Savita Punia in the India goal. The Indian captain was having an outstanding game otherwise, and it took another stupendous Stapenhorst effort late in the fourth quarter to beat her, as she belted one right across the goalkeeper from the right flank to give Germany the lead with four minutes to go.

Just as it seemed India were down and out, the comeback came and the equaliser from the stick of Ishika, who injected a penalty corner, and was then there to pick up the pieces after Udita’s shot was saved to tap into an empty net.

Savita did superbly in the shootout, making a couple of excellent saves, but in the end, German goalkeeper Lisa Sonntag made a good save, and also some meek Indian shooting ensured that they will have to wait another day to potentially secure Paris qualification, the report added.

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