India: Indian Women’s Hockey Team defeats United States 1-1 (2-1) in thrilling shootout of FIH Hockey Pro League 2023/24 to earn a bonus point

~Deepika scored a goal in regulation time for India, while Savita made outstanding saves in the shootout~


Rourkela, 18th February 2024: India’s Captain and seasoned custodian, Savita, exhibited heroic prowess in the shootout and guided her team to a thrilling shootout victory 2-1 against the USA after the game was locked at 1-1 at the end of regulation time in their final match of the Rourkela leg of the FIH Hockey Pro League 2023/24 at the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium on Sunday.


Savita’s outstanding performance included four remarkable saves during the shootout. Mumtaz Khan and Sonika capitalized on their chances, successfully converting their shots in the shootout. This remarkable effort allowed India to secure a bonus point after the match concluded with a 1-1 tie at the end of regulation time, in which, Deepika (19’) netted a goal for India, while Ashley Sessa (45’) scored for the USA.


Both teams swiftly initiated their offensive strategies in a high-paced, attacking display of hockey. India, fuelled by an enthusiastic home crowd, ventured into the striking circle early on, asserting dominance in ball possession. The USA, despite a frenetic start, gradually found their rhythm in the game. Although India maintained better control of possession and consistently challenged the USA’s defense, they were unable to secure a goal as the first quarter concluded without either team breaking the deadlock.


India kicked off the second quarter with an assertive offensive approach, leading to the team earning their first penalty corner of the game. This opportunity proved decisive as Deepika (19’) unleashed a powerful and precisely placed shot, securing the lead for India. Finding themselves behind on the scoreboard, the USA intensified their attacking efforts. However, India’s robust defense and the commendable saves by the goalkeeper and Captain Savita thwarted the opposing team’s attempts, allowing the home team to maintain their lead.


Moreover, India maintained their aggressive style of play, earning three more penalty corners, but they were unable to capitalise on any of them, thus entering the half-time break with a slim 1-0 lead.


The onset of the third quarter witnessed the seasoned forward Lalremsiami from India showcasing impressive juggling skills, effortlessly manoeuvring past USA’s defense. This skilful display resulted in consecutive penalty corners for India. Despite India’s attempts to widen their lead, USA’s goalkeeper, Kelsey Bing, made outstanding saves, thwarting India’s efforts.


In the meantime, the USA transitioned to a counter-attacking strategy, enabling them to make a comeback in the game. Ashley Sessa (45’) successfully levelled the score by converting a penalty corner through a remarkable diving shot. As a result, the penultimate quarter concluded with the teams tied at 1-1.


In the last quarter, both teams probed each other’s defenses in a bid to secure the next goal. In the 52nd minute, USA earned a penalty corner, but Savita’s skilful save thwarted their attempt to take the lead. India, meanwhile, focused on ball possession and came close to scoring on multiple occasions, keeping the USA on the defensive. Despite India’s efforts, the Americans successfully held off their attackers.


As the final hooter sounded, the score remained tied at 1-1, prompting the match to progress into the shootout. Savita showcased exceptional goalkeeping skills, making commendable saves as the USA managed to convert only one out of their five shots through Leah Crouse. In contrast, for the home team, Mumtaz Khan and Sonika successfully converted their shots, securing a 2-1 victory for India in the penalty shootout.

All matches of the FIH Hockey Pro League 2023/24 will be streamed on JioCinema, additionally, all India matches will be telecast on Sports18 – Khel.

By Hockey India

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