India: India suffers heartbreaking 2-2 (3-4 SO) loss to Germany in Semi-Finals

~India will play Japan in the 3rd/4th place play-off for a place in the 2024 Paris Olympics~ 

Ranchi, 18th January 2024: The Indian Women’s Hockey Team put on a spirited show against Germany but were unable to get over the line as they lost 2-2 (3-4 SO) in a thrilling Semi-Final at the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers Ranchi 2024. India will now face Japan, who lost 1-2 to USA in the second Semi-Final, on 19th January in the 3rd/4th place play off with the winners of that game finding a place in the Olympics.  

Coming into the Semi-Finals on the back of successive victories in the group stage, the Indian team made plenty of circle entries in the first quarter and it was a drag-flick from Deepika (14’) on a penalty corner towards the end of the quarter that put India in the lead.  

Despite the Indians playing a tight defense and hardly giving Germany any time on the ball, Charlotte Stapenhorst (26’) equalized for Germany to bring them back into the game as the score read 1-1 at half-time.  

Both teams raised the intensity of their game to try and take the lead in the third quarter and put themselves in the driving seat to qualify for the Final and confirm a place in the 2024 Paris Olympics but neither were able to score as the teams went into the final quarter with the score still reading 1-1.  

Early in the quarter, Deepika took a shot at goal but the Germany goal-keeper kept it out. Both India and Germany came close to having their noses in front on multiple occasions and it was Charlotte Stapenhorst (56’) yet again who scored a field goal to put Germany in the lead with just over three minutes left on the clock. With one and a half minutes left on the clock, India went level courtesy a goal from Ishika (59’) who anticipated a deflection on a penalty corner taking the match into a penalty shoot-out as the score read 2-2 at the end of full time.  

With the match heading into shootouts, Sangita, Sonika and Lalremsiami scored for India while Captain Savita was brilliant in front of goal but it was Germany that held on to their nerves to beat India 4-3 in the penalties to go through to the Final, winning by the barest of margins.   

India will face Japan in the Semi-Final on 19th January at 1630 hrs IST. 

Matches will be live on Sports18 / Jio Cinema. 

By Hockey India

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