Hockey Nations Cup: India begin campaign with 3-1 win over Chile

The Indian Women’s Hockey Team made a successful start to their campaign at the FIH Women’s Nations Cup 2022 by defeating Chile 3-1 on Sunday in Valencia, Spain. Indian forward Sangita Kumari (2′) and midfielder Sonika (10′) gave India an early lead, and Navneet Kaur (31′) made it 3-0. Fernanda Villagran equalised for Chile in the 43rd minute.

The Indian women’s hockey team got off to a fast start and was clinical in both attack and defence. Salima Tete and veteran forward Vandana Katariya combined to find Sangita Kumari in the D, who converted promptly to put India up 1-0 as per the Olympic website. India, rated eighth in the women’s hockey world rankings, increased their lead over world No. 14 Chile in the 10th minute with another team goal.

Navneet Kaur broke through the Chilian defence and sent a chip pass to Sonika at the far post, who made no mistake in front of an open goal to make it 2-0. In the second quarter, India dominated possession and stifled a few Chilean attacks. India led 2-0 at halftime after failing to convert many penalty corners.

India and Chile each scored in the third quarter. In the 31st minute, Navneet Kaur scored in the top corner to make it 3-0, before a deflection from Indian defender Udita off Fernanda Villagran’s drag-flick beat Indian goalkeeper and captain Savita Punia in the 43rd minute. Chile, buoyed by the goal at the conclusion of the third quarter, increased their effort in the fourth quarter, while India continued to waste penalty corners.

Both teams, however, failed to score, and India won the match 3-1. India will now face world No. 11 and Asian champions Japan on Monday at the same ground, followed by their final group encounter on Wednesday against South Africa.

The top two teams from each group will advance to the semi-finals. The winner of the Women’s FIH Nations Cup will advance to the FIH Pro League for the 2023-24 season.

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