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FIH Hockey Qualifiers: India knocked out of Paris Olympics 2024 race, lose to Japan 1-0 in 3rd place playoff

Japan defeated India 1-0 in a heartbreaking result for the Women in Blue in the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers in Ranchi on Friday, January 19. India needed to win the 3rd place playoff but it wasn't to be as Japan have qualified for the Paris Olympics along with Germany and the USA.

Edited By: Anshul Gupta @oyegupta_ New Delhi Published on: January 19, 2024 19:36 IST
India lost to Japan in the 3rd place playoff in Ranchi to
Image Source : HOCKEY INDIA India lost to Japan in the 3rd place playoff in Ranchi to lose the Paris Olympics quota

Japan broke Indian hearts in Ranchi on Friday, January 19 as they qualified for the Paris Olympics 2024 by winning the third place playoffs 1-0. India probably were the better team on the field with relatively more possession than Japan, double the shots on goal and more than double the penalty corners, however, they failed to convert even once despite several opportunities as the dream of representing the country at the Olympics got shattered for the Women in Blue after featuring a couple of time in back-to-back editions.

Japan took a 1-0 lead very early in the game, with Urata Kana finding the nets through a penalty corner. The rest of the 54 minutes in the game was a sheer dogged fight from both the teams with Japan's defence being just a big stronger than its Indian counterpart given the Women in Blue didn't let them rest with multiple shots and constant pressure.

After halftime, the Indian team came out firing in the third quarter with Salima Tete, Udita and Deepika shoring the side's attack, however, it wasn't to be as Japan's defenders didn't let them break the shackles even one bit. Could they have done anything differently, well hindsight is a wonderful gift, however, the fight India showed till the final whistle, it looked like they gave it their all but it just wasn't to be.

The fourth quarter also witnessed some fine attacking hockey from the Indian team but the Japanese players were up to the task and how.

Japan have qualified for the Olympics alongside Germany and the USA from the Ranchi leg. The Indian captain Savita Punia was heartbroken and was in tears as she stood in a huddle with the whole team with the players catching their breath and feeling the hurt of the loss and non-qualification.

 

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