Chakde India! Women’s hockey team qualifies for Olympics
“At one point the aggregate score line read 5-5. With hearts in mouth, the Indian team kept chasing that one goal which would take them to Olympics"
Only if India’s qualifier against USA was being telecasted on the big screen, it could well have been confused for a sequel of the famous sports drama Chakde India. India had thrashed the 13th ranked USA side in the previous encounter by 5-1, which meant India had to maintain the lead in the second match to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. However, the humbled eagles came back screeching. At one point the aggregate score line read 5-5. With hearts in mouth, the Indian team kept chasing that one goal which would take them to Olympics.
It was the captain who brought India back into lead in the dying minutes of the game. Rani Rampal smacked one into the top netting from the circle to keep the dream alive. However, the Americans didn’t go down without a fight. The next few minutes saw relentless attacks from USA. India just managed to hold the fort. At one moment, USA was awarded a penalty corner. But a successful referral from India denied them the chance to equalise.
The game ended at 4-1 but in aggregate India won by 6-5 to qualify for Olympics. Perhaps it was some complacence that had caught up with the team. But that helped fans witness a thriller. More power to our girls! Tokyo is calling.