Indian women's hockey team achieved a major triumph when they defeated hosts Japan 3-1 in the final of the FIH Women's Series Finals in Hiroshima. Going into the tournament, both these teams were seen as the favourites and unsurprisingly, reached the finals. Last year, it were the Japanese eves that triumphed in the final of the Asian Games to claim gold and forced Rani-led Indian side to settle for silver.
But this time, the Indians turned the tables and secured a morale-boosting victory over their Asian rivals to bring home the trophy. After the match was done, it was time to celebrate and the Indian eves decided to let their hair down on the team bus. Hockey India put out the video of the girls dancing to the famous song 'Humne kaha hai jo, tum bhi kaho' on their official Twitter handle. After what must have been a tough and intense duel with Japan, it was time for the eves to let themselves go in celebration.
In the final, the Indians took an early lead thanks to their inspirational skipper Rani who scored in the third minute of the game. This led to a period of Indian domination as the visiting side created regular opportunities and didn't allow the Japanese to retaliate properly. However, they were able to equalize thanks to only their second entry into the circle in the first quarter with a strike from Kanon Mori.
In the second half, the hosts fought back and were competing with the Indian side on level terms. However, Gurjit Kaur, the penalty corner specialist in the side stepped up to the challenge and by scoring twice, gave her team a two-goal lead, which they held onto till the end of the game.
Not only did the Indian side emerge victorious, they also took away the individual awards. Rani was declared the Best Player of the tournament and Gurjit emerged as the leading goal-scorer. Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the team on their success.
By making it to the final of this event, both India and Japan have earned a place in the Olympic qualifiers slated to take place later in the year. By winning this match, the Indians have given themselves momentum and possibly, a psychological edge over their opponents.