FIH Women’s Olympic Qualifiers: India loses to Germany in penalty shootout, to face Japan for Paris 2024 quota

India lost to Germany in penalty shootout at the FIH Women’s Hockey Olympic Qualifiers on Thursday.

Published : Jan 18, 2024 21:23 IST , Ranchi - 3 MINS READ

Germany has qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
Germany has qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympics. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Germany has qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympics. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Standing teary in the middle of the field with fellow goalkeeper Bichu Devi, India captain Savita cut a sad figure as Germany booked a spot in the final of the Olympic Qualifiers and a ticket to Paris with a 4-3 win in sudden death after being tied 2-2 in regulation time in the semifinals on Thursday.

Starting as underdogs against a team that has made it to every Olympics since its debut in 1984 with everything including track record and rankings against it, India put up a bracing fight against its more fancied opponent but now will play Japan in yet another must-win game for the third place and the last remaining Olympic spot here after the USA won 2-1 in the other semifinal.

While the numbers might say India had more possession, Germany dominated on field. The speed and attacking play seen from India in the last two games was missing. A PC in the last minute of the first quarter saw Deepika strike through Julia Sontag’s legs to put India ahead, but thereafter, instead of building on it, the Indian team went defensive, allowing Germany space to keep pressing hard.


For the next 30 minutes, the game was largely restricted to India’s half as Germany kept pushing for an equaliser. India’s defence stood firm against a German side that barely allowed breathing space. Relying on free hits and individual skills to move ahead the Indian attack did not have the cohesion or penetration seen before.

But the Indian defence that braved repeated German attacks was guilty of conceding both the goals Germany scored, failing to mark Charlotte Stapenhorst inside the circle and not providing enough backup to Savita. The second of those came in the 57th minute, but just when it looked like the game was all but over, Ishika managed to deflect a rebound off India’s third PC in the 59th minute to take the game into shootouts.

The penalty shootout looked like it was going India’s way with Sangita and Sonika scoring and Savita saving two of Germany’s first three shots. But India’s two most experienced players in the shootout – Neha and Navneet – hurried and missed their chances, taking the game into sudden death before Lisa Nolte struck her second of the night to end India’s hopes.

Earlier in the day, for 50 minutes, Japan seemed to have the game and a final spot in its control before a yellow card to Chico Fujibayashi in the 52nd minute gave the USA the numerical advantage, and it made the most of it, scoring twice in three minutes to stun the Japanese and return to the Olympics. In the classification matches for the 5-8 place, New Zealand beat the Czech Republic 2-0 with two goals in three minutes, while Italy beat Chile in shootouts.

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