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India Women’s Hockey Team bounce back in Olympic qualifiers, beat NZ after losing to USA

India Women’s Hockey Team bounce back in Olympic qualifiers, beat NZ after losing to USA

India put behind the disappointment of the USA match with a near-perfect display in the second qualifier match and kept alive their hopes of qualifying for the Paris Olympics.

After losing 1-0 to the USA on Saturday, India Women’s Hockey Team registered a 3-1 win over New Zealand in their second match of the Women’s FIH Olympic Qualifiers in Ranchi to maintain their bid to qualify for the Paris Olympics. India put behind the disappointment of the USA match with a near-perfect display in the second qualifier match.

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Goals galore

Sangita Kumari scored India’s first goal in the 1st minute of play, following a brilliant run down the right wing by Salima Tete. The goal was just what India needed to get off to a winning start, but they were immediately hit back as Megan Hull clipped a slap shot from a penalty corner past a sprawling Savita Punia, who was covering the post with Monika.

However, rather than sit back and let the equalizer sink in, India stepped up their game with attacking intent and earned a series of penalty corners. The third of these was converted by a thunderous strike from Udita Duhan.

There will be a debate about the scorer of the third goal between Sangita and Neha Goyal, but the goal was awarded to Neha, the closest Indian player to the ball, after Sangita’s shot from the byline seemed to go in off a New Zealand defender’s stick.

India’s defence continued to fight tooth and nail to keep India’s lead at 3-1. India’s defensive unit picked up almost all the long balls that New Zealand had and managed the Indian backline effectively. New Zealand did their best to fight back in the last few minutes of the match but India kept their composure to get three points from the game.

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