With a fantastic start, the Indian women’s hockey team secured a place in the final round of Tokyo Olympic qualifiers after beating lower-ranked Chile in the semifinals of FIH Series Finals.
It was an emotional moment as one of the players lost her father just a day before and this victory was very important on the Indian side. Chile took a surprise lead in the 18th minute through Carolina Garcia but India restored parity in the 22nd minute through Gurjit Kaur as the two sides went into the half-time at 1-1.
India then took a two-goal lead with Navneet Kaur scoring in the 31st minute and Gurjit Kaur finding the target for the second time (37th) in the match.
Manuela Urroz scored Chile’s second goal in the 43rd minute to reduce the gap to 3-2 before Indian captain Rani Rampal took the game beyond the reach of the South Americans with a 57th minute strike.
In the final on Sunday, India will play against the winner of Saturday’s other semifinal match between Russia and Japan.
The top two teams from this tournament qualify for the final round of 2020 Olympics qualifiers to be held later this year.