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 tyhe end of the first and second quarter. India were found playing catch-up as Japan made some aggressive moves and created plenty of scoring opportinities. 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.
India vs Japan: As it happened!
2056 hrs IST: That’s the final whistle. India earn a 2-2 draw with Japan in their Rio 2016 Olympics opener
2054 hrs IST: India with a golden chance to hit the winning goal but Japan goalie with the save
2047 hrs IST: Penalty corner no.4 for India. Less than six minutes to go. Good chance for India to take the lead
2040 hrs IST: Teams continue to trade possession in the fourth quarter. Japan make a move from the right but India defend in numbers to deflect the danger away
2038 hrs IST: The final quarter is underway. If India sustain the momentum from the third quarter, they have good chance of beating Japan in the opener
2037 hrs IST: India dominate third quarter as they score two goals, and save one. It’s level at 2-2
2036 hrs IST: The Indian goalie gets down in time, makes use of her height and extends the stick to deflect the ball away
2035 hrs IST: Japan earn a penalty corner late in the third quarter but Savita makes a sensational save
2032 hrs IST: We are into the last five minutes of the third quarter. Exciting fourth quarter on the cards as both teams would press forward for the winning goal
2028 hrs IST: Japan appeal, video referral for dangerous play and it’s turned down. What an amazing comeback by the women’s team as they are now locked at 2-2 with Japan
2027 hrs IST: GOAL GOAL! India control the rebound, level the scoring at 2-2
2025 hrs IST: India try variation in the second penalty corner, fail to convert. Still 1-2 behind Japan
2023 hrs IST: Penalty corner number two for India. If they convert this, it will do a world of good to their confidence
2020 hrs IST: Appeal turned down and that’s the second penalty corner for Japan. They converted the first which came their way
2018 hrs IST: Japan earn a penalty corner but Sushil has appealed for a referral for stick check
2017 hrs IST: That’s the difference a goal can make. India with a positive body language in the middle now
2016 hrs IST: GOAL GOAL! Rani Rampal opens the scoring for #IND. It’s 1-2 in #JPN’s favour
2015 hrs IST: The second half gets underway, and India win their first penalty corner of the match
2003 hrs IST: That’s the end of the first half and India are two goals behind. They need a special effort to fight back. Japan dominate proceedings at the moment
2001 hrs IST: Japan extend their lead with a goal late in the 2nd quarter. Nakashima with goal as she deflects the cross successfully past Indian goalie
1958 hrs IST: Japan with a nice move into the D but the forward is outnumbered by the Indian defence. No damage done. It remains 1-0
1956 hrs IST: We are approaching the end of the second quarter and India continue to trail by a goal. Navjot Kaur is very active from the right flank but is not able deliver the right ball into the scoring D
1954 hrs IST: India making two rolling substitutions. And, Japan continue to put pressure on India with counter-attacks
1953 hrs IST: India need to find the equaliser now, and make sure they don’t end up conceding one more in the process
1952 hrs IST: Both teams had little chances in the first quarter but it was Japan who made most of it, and fired in the opening goal
1951 hrs IST: GOAL! Japan score in the final moments of the quarter to take a 1-0 lead! Stopped and then a little shift of the ball. Bang!
1949 hrs IST: Japan with a great chance in the final 30 seconds but their player is unable to make the most of it. But a penalty corner comes of it.
1943 hrs IST: Six minutes to go in the first quarter. Both teams pretty cagey so far.
1936 hrs IST: Great chance for India! But the Indian player fails to get contact with a defender right behind and the goalkeeper in a difficult place
1935 hrs IST: India, as always in all blue, with Japan in red. India are scoring from right to left and Japan from left to right. Remember this is the first time the Indian women have qualified for the Olympics since 1980. Moment of pride for them and bit of nerves perhaps?
1930 hrs IST: National anthems being sung. Group B about to get underway!
The Indian women’s team led by Sushila Chanu will play an Olympic match for the first time in 36 years, against a higher-ranked Japanese outfit. It is seen as a big step in terms of growing hockey in India. Sushila Chanu will spearhead the team in the absence of Poonam Rani, who was dropped from the squad.
Team India beat Ireland 3-2 in opener but show frailties in the back that could be exploited by better sides.