The Indian women’s hockey team concluded their home leg in the FIH Pro League 2023-24 with a thrilling shootout victory against the USA.

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Rourkela, 19th Feb 2024: Deepika scored for India, while Ashley Sessa found the net for the USA, resulting in a 1-1 tie at the end of regulation time. India emerged victorious in the shootout, clinching a 2-1 win.

In accordance with FIH Pro League regulations, both teams earned one point each for the draw in regulation time. However, India secured an additional point with their shootout victory.

The match saw an intense battle, with Deepika (19′) and Ashley Sessa (45′) scoring for their respective teams during regulation time. India’s captain and goalkeeper, Savita Punia, delivered an outstanding performance during the shootout, blocking four attempts from the US team.

The early stages of the game primarily revolved around midfield exchanges, with neither team making significant breakthroughs into the opponent’s circle. Despite enjoying possession, India couldn’t capitalize on their opportunities in the first quarter, which ended goalless.

India took the lead in the 19th minute through a goal from Deepika, who converted a penalty corner earned by Salima Tete. However, the USA’s Madeleine Zimmer was denied by Savita Punia’s save in the 23rd minute, and Kelsey Bing thwarted Navneet Kaur’s penalty corner attempt soon after.

India’s dominance continued in the second quarter, earning four penalty corners compared to none for the visitors. Despite their control, India couldn’t increase their lead before halftime.

In the third quarter, the USA intensified their attacks and managed to score a goal from a penalty corner just before the quarter concluded, with Ashley Sessa finding the net.

The USA maintained pressure in the fourth quarter but were repeatedly denied by Savita’s excellent saves.

During the shootout, Savita’s heroics with four crucial saves ensured India’s victory, with Mumtaz Khan and Sonika successfully converting for the team.

This match marked the conclusion of the Indian women’s hockey team’s home fixtures in the FIH Pro League 2023-24. They will next travel to Antwerp for the subsequent leg in May, where they will face Belgium and Argentina twice each.

With eight points from eight matches, India currently occupies the fifth position in the 2023-24 FIH Pro League standings.