Hockey Olympic Qualifiers: Indian Women thrash USA 5-1 and move a step closer to Tokyo

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Image Courtesy: NDTV

Indian women’s hockey team took a giant stride towards Olympic qualification after they beat USA 5-1 in the first-leg of the FIH Qualifier on Friday.

Image Courtesy: NDTV

Gurjit Kaur scored a brace while Lilima Minz, Sharmila Devi and Navneet Kaur each scored one. USA got themselves a consolation goal after Erin Matson converted a penalty.

The ninth ranked Indian side will now need to keep their four goal lead intact on Saturday to see them quality for the Tokyo Olympics.

The first quarter saw very little action from both sides and neither team could open the scoring.

The second quarter saw increased pressure being applied from India as they got closer towards the goal. 

Finally in the 28th minute, a deflection of a penalty corner fell before Lilima, who converted the shot to break the deadlock. 

This goal happened to be a blessing in disguise as it opened the floodgates for India. The Indian girls completely dominated the third quarter, pumping in two more goals to take a commanding 3-0 lead.

After just 30 seconds from the start of the fourth quarter, India extended their lead further after Navneet completed a sleek counter attack. A penalty stroke in the 51st minute saw Gurjit put India 5 up before USA got a consolation goal through the same manner.