After playing four important practice matches (three against Spain and one against Ireland), the Indian Women’s Hockey Team are all-set to begin their campaign at the FIH Women’s Nations Cup 2022 in Valencia, Spain. In their opening match on Sunday, 11th December 2022, they will face off against Chile.
Riding on the confidence from a good show at the CWG, where the team won a Bronze Medal, the Savita-led squad will be vying to start their campaign with a win.
“We are quite fortunate to have arrived here well in advance and it’s helped us get used to the cold conditions here. Playing three closely-fought matches against Spain and winning 5-1 against Ireland in the last practice match on Thursday has lifted the spirit of the team ahead of our opening match on Sunday,” expressed team Captain and ace goalkeeper Savita.
India is grouped in Pool B along with Chile, Japan, and South Africa. The other teams in the fray are Ireland, Italy, Korea, and Spain, who are grouped in Pool A. The 2022 FIH Women’s Nations Cup is an important fixture in the international calendar as it brings in a system of promotion-relegation, where the Champions will be promoted to the 2023-24 FIH Hockey Women’s Pro League.
Savita further highlighted that it’s important for her squad to start the campaign on a positive note and carry forward the momentum, through the tournament. “It will be crucial for us to start on a winning note. This is an important tournament for us and starting well will help us gain the right momentum.
“Our focus will be on ourselves and ensuring we play to our potential. In the match against Ireland, we had goals from Beauty Dungdung, Neha, Gurjit, Sangita and Navneet. It’s always a good sign to have different goal scorers and it shows the variety we bring in our attack,” she added.
In their second pool B match on 12th December, India will take on their Asian nemesis Japan, against whom they lost the Final at the 2018 Asian Games. In the third match on the 14th of December, they will play South Africa while the knockout matches will be played on 16th and 17th December. “Every match in this tournament will be hard-fought as every single team would want to make it to the FIH Hockey Pro League. We can’t take any team lightly and as I said, the focus will be on ourselves and the process we have been practicing,” Savita signed off.
On 11th December 2022, India will take on Chile in their opening match at 1945 hrs IST.