India women’s team, in their first Rio 2016 Olympics contest, staged a brilliant comeback to draw 2-2 with Japan on Sunday. 0-2 down at the end of the second quarter, India hit back with goals from Rani Rampal and Lilima Minz.
It was an inspiring start by India in the first ten minutes of the first quarter but Japan took control of proceedings and moved ahead with two goals towards the end of the first and second quarter. India were found playing catch-up as Japan made some aggressive moves and created plenty of scoring opportunities.
India, however, turned the tables in the third quarter as they scored two goals to level the scoring at 2-2. The spirits in the Indian camp were high as they staged an emphatic comeback from a disappointing performance in the second quarter.
Not only the goal scoring but Savita’s save late in the third quarter made it India all the way before going into the fourth quarter. The start of the fourth, however, was similar to the second as India failed to get their passes going and were very tentative. They did earn their fourth penalty corner but failed to convert and take the decisive lead.
It was a very improved performance by India, making their first Olympics after 36 years. The win gives them crucial points and a lot of confidence ahead of their second group match against Great Britain. As far as scope of improvement is concerned, India would need to sustain the intensity they showcased in the third quarter throughout the tournament to stand any chance of making progress.