The Indian Women’s and Men’s hockey teams ended their 2020 Olympic test events on a triumphant note with victories over Japan and New Zealand respectively. The wins are crucial from the Olympic qualifier preparations point of view that will commence later next month. Both the teams have yet to qualify for the Olympics.
Captain Harmanpreet Singh opened the proceedings in the seventh minute before Shamsher Singh (18’), Nilakanta Sharma (22’), Gursahibjit Singh (26’) and Mandeep Singh (27’) scored goals to give India a massive 5-0 victory over New Zealand at the Oi Hockey Stadium. The Men in Blue had lost 1-2 to the New Zealanders earlier in round-robin league-stage.
— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) August 22, 2019
Both the teams started cautiously, strictly keeping the ball in midfield. However, things an opportunity opened up for India courtesy of a penalty corner in the seventh minute. While the team missed the first one, skipper Harmanpreet ensured that the re-awarded penalty corner found its way in the net. The player executed a pitch-perfect drag flick to put India ahead.
The Indian team continued to hold possession and put tremendous pressure on the New Zealand defence as they ended the first quarter at 1-0. Ten minutes later, Shamsher came up with India’s second goal through another penalty corner. The team looked to get to life after the second goal with New Zealand managing only two entries into the circle in the second quarter.
India found three goals more with Nilakanta scoring in the 22nd minute before Gursahibjit and Mandeep grabbing back to back goals in quick succession.
The second half was a goalless affair with the Asians keeping hold of the 5-0 lead.
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— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) August 21, 2019
Indian Women beat Japan
Indian women’s hockey team defeated hosts Japan by a 2-1 win in the final of the Olympic Test event on Wednesday.
Navjot Kaur (11’) opened the account for India which was cancelled out within a minute with an equaliser from Japan’s Minami Shimizu (12′).
Nonetheless, Lalremsiami grabbed the winner for India in the 33rd minute after the young forward converted a rebounded from prolific drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur’s penalty corner effort.