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FIH Hockey Qualifiers: India women thrash Italy 5-1 to qualify for semis; inch closer to Paris Olympics spot

The Indian women's hockey team moved one step closer to a spot in the Paris Olympics as they beat Italy 5-1 to seal a spot in the semi-finals. Udita, Deepika, Salima Tete and Navneet Kaur scored goals as the Women in Blue were too good in their Pool B match in the FIH Hockey Olympics Qualifier.

Edited By: Anshul Gupta @oyegupta_ New Delhi Published on: January 16, 2024 22:58 IST
India women beat Italy 5-1 in Ranchi to seal the semi-final
Image Source : HOCKEY INDIA X India women beat Italy 5-1 in Ranchi to seal the semi-final spot in FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers

India gave Italy an absolute thrashing in the Pool B encounter in the ongoing FIH Women's Hockey Olympics Qualifiers winning the game by 5-1 at Marang Gomke Jaipal Singh Astroturf Hockey Stadium in Ranchi, Jharkhand on Tuesday, January 16. The win took India to the second spot in Pool B, just behind the USA and a step closer to a spot in Paris Olympics 2024. India's campaign got off to a poor start with the loss against the USA but recovered well to beat New Zealand and now Italy to qualify for the semi-finals. 

Udita ('1, '55), Deepika ('41), Salima Tete ('45) and Navneet Kaur ('53) were the scorers for the Indian women's team while Camila Machin was the sole scorer in the 60th minute for Italy. A draw would have been enough for India to seal the semis berth on Tuesday but the Women in Blue were charged up and that showed in the very first minute when Tete won the team a penalty corner. Udita, who went on to be the player of the match in her 100th match, ensured her drag flick was powerful enough to slip past the Italian goalkeeper. 

India maintained the possession for the majority of the play in the first and second quarters while putting pressure on Italy, however, the visitors were able to see the challenge off.

However, it was the third quarter that saw Indian team get results in their favour. Sofia Laurito brought down Lalremsiami from behind, which helped India get a penalty stroke and Deepika didn't miss the chance to get the ball in the nets. A few minutes later, Salima Tete finally got her name on the board with a goal in the dying stages of the third quarter to give India a decisive lead.

The final quarter saw one more goal from Udita and Navneet Kaur getting into the act in the 53rd minute before Italy opened their account in the final minute, but it was too little too late for the visitors as they registered a thumping win. A top-three finish in Ranchi will see the Indian women's team seal the Olympics spot.

 

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