Olympic qualifiers: Indian women survive the scare to qualify for Tokyo

BHUBANESWAR: USA He won the battle but India won the war. The shocking defeat 1-4 despite Saturday, Rani & Co overcame the US obstacle to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics with a better goal difference.

For most of the game, it seemed that the women's hockey team in India was not the same, who recorded a 5-1 victory over the USA. UU.

While the Indian line-up remained unchanged, the game, mental, physical and tactical, was different. In contrast, the Americans were at the top of their game. Not only did they play attractive hockey, they were also effective.

Holding one's nerve and execution were the key on the day and on those counts the visitors outclassed the home side in the first two quarters. But in the end, Sjoerd Marijne's band of girls showed enough resilience to pull the all-important goal back. The player who turned it around was Rani with her 49th minute strike.

With India behind 0-4 and equal in total of 5, the teams went out to play the last quarter with the unofficial Indian women's hockey anthem - Chak From India - playing in the background and the crowd singing.

The hosts' decided to go full throttle and four minutes on, Rani positioned herself well as Reena Khokhar opened out the American defense line including their goalkeeper Kelsey Bing. With her perfect sense of timing and precision Rani found the top corner. After that it was all about defending well till the final hooter and in the end, it was a job well done.

Outcome: United States 4 (Amanda Magadan 5, 28, Kathleen Sharkey 14, Alyssa Parker 20) bt India 1 (Rani 49). India qualified with a 6-5 aggregate.