01 November 2019
Bhubaneswar: India women's hockey team skipper Rani Rampal hailed the team's 5-1 win in the first leg of the Olympic qualifiers here, saying it was a fantastic performance.
"I think we played fantastic hockey. Today's match is done and we will now focus on winning the second match tomorrow," Rampal said after the match.
The Indian team put one foot in the Tokyo Olympics next year by registering a 5-1 victory over the United States at the Kalinga Stadium here on Friday.
India scored four goals in 11 minutes after halftime to kill the tie as Gurjeet Kaur scored a brace.
Erin Matson scored a consolation goal for the USA in the 54th minute from a penalty stroke and the 13th-ranked away side got a a host of chances to reduce the deficit in the dying minutes but it was not enough. In the end the hosts took a huge step towards the Tokyo Olympics.
In the second leg on Saturday, the USA will need a miracle to harbour any hopes of making the Olympics cut.
The team with the highest number of goals over the two matches will qualify for the Olympics. If both the teams are tied on goals after the second-leg, then there will be a penalty shootout to decide the winner.