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OQ W: Indian high at Hiroshima, annex FIH SRS Fina (6/23/2019)
--s2h Team
Emulating their men's counterpart in style and substance, India ladies today annexed the FIH Series Final in Hiroshima today. Starting with a goal as early as three minutes from the start, Rani Rampal's team won the final against the hosts Japan 3-1, a week after Manpreet Singh's crack outfit did the same encore in Bhubneswar in the their FIH Series Final. Both men and women won all their matches in achieving a rare double for India. Further, Indian girls also made amends for their title defeat at Jakarata to Japan.

Both teams were relaxed ones insofar Road to Tokyo is concerned. While India made sure of thier entry into the last leg of Olympic Qualifier with a semifinal win yesterday, the host have doubly ensured their place ino the next Olympics as Asian Games champions and also hosts.

All India's goals came through penalty corners, PC expert Gurjit Singh again scoring a brace as she did in the semis against Chile yesterday.

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Rani Rampal struck the first goal in the 3rd minute only to see it even out through an excellent field goal from Kanon Mori eight minutes later. Both sides completed the first half with the same 1-1 score line.

India was the dominant partner after lemon break.

Attacking from both wings, India almost outpaced the Japanese, who are the reigning Asian champions.

India got four successive penalty corners, but could not utilize in the spell. However, Gurjit could not be restrained for long. When her fierceful drag hit the left side netting off the fifth penalty corner of the session, the girls smelt the crown flavour.

The manner with which PC ball pusher Navjot Kaur jumped like frog symbolised the Indian joy.

But still 15 minutes were to be glossed over for final sigh of relief.

Its in the fourth spell, India showed its verve in both attack and defence. When Japan pressed hard in the last five minutes, defender Deep Grace Ekka gave best performance in seeing the citadel remain intact. Japan certainly got two penalty corners, both disputed by the Indians, one off the feet of Gurjit, but good dfence again kept the clean slate.

India got its last penalth corner when a long scoop creted a havoc in the Japan circle. Gurjit now placed the high drag in the centre of the net, bemusing the goalie who was expecting either sides.

This goal was not only against the run of play, but also the last nail in the Japanese coffin.

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