India seal FIH Pro League berth, beat Spain 1-0 to win Women’s Nations Cup | Hockey News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: Ace Indian drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur scored an all-important winner in the sixth minute of the final as India registered a 1-0 win over Spain to clinch the inaugural FIH Women’s Nation’s Cup title in Valencia, Spain on Saturday.
With this victory, India also secured their berth in the 2023-24 FIH Pro League. India were ranked a spot below Spain (7th) in the FIH standings.

India finished the eight-nation tourney with five wins on the trot after Gurjit converted the penalty corner into a goal in the very first quarter.
Hockey India announced Rs 2 lakh cash reward for each player and Rs 1 lakh each for support staff members for winning the tournament.
The Janneke Schopman-coached side got the better of Ireland 2-1 via shootout in the semifinals on Friday.
By virtue of winning the Nations Cup, the Indian women’s team has been promoted to the 2023-24 FIH Pro League, a key event ahead of next year’s Asian Games and 2024 Paris Olympics.
It was Spain who first earned an early penalty corner but Indian captain and goalkeeper Savita Punia made an excellent save.
India earned their first penalty corner in the sixth minute and converted it to take the lead.
Drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur sent the ball to the left side of the Spanish goalkeeper Clara Perez and managed to beat her.
India played brilliantly at the start of the second quarter.
Lalremsiami earned a PC for the team but this time Gurjit could not manage to beat the goalkeeper with her drag-flick.
Spain soon regrouped and made several raids on the Indian circle before earning a PC at the halfway stage of the second quarter.
However, the home side failed to find the back of the net as Savita stood tall in front of the goal. India were 1-0 up at the end of half time.
Spain began the second half aggressively in search of an equaliser and Savita came off the lines to make a fine save.
India got a chance to score their second goal of the match after they earned a PC but the Spanish goalkeeper was alert and dived to the right of the goalpost to keep her team in the game.
Spain controlled the possession brilliantly and showed excellent ball rotation in India’s half and it nearly paid off when Lucia Jimenez put the ball in the back of the net.
However, the goal was disallowed as the ball did not travel five meters outside India’s circle after the umpire gave a free hit to Spain.
The final quarter saw exciting action between both teams. Spain pressed high in search of their first goal and earned a PC 10 minutes before the full time whistle.
However, the Indian defence stood firm and kept the ball away from their net.
Salima Tete found herself in a goal-scoring position in the opposition half but she failed to beat Clara Perez with a tomahawk.
Spain, then, earned a PC late in the quarter but Savita dived to her right to make an excellent save.
India and Spain had played in the FIH women’s Hockey Pro League 2021-22 season as replacement teams after pull-outs by Australia and New Zealand due to COVID-19 related issues.
India finished a creditable third in the 2021-22 FIH Pro League. The country has not qualified for the ongoing 2022-23 Pro League season.
(With inputs from PTI)


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