Goal-scoring table

Team Minute Player Action Score
India 5 Kaur Navneet Field Goal 0 - 1
India 12 Neha Field Goal 0 - 2
India 40 Katariya Vandana Field Goal 0 - 3
China 43 DENG Xue Field Goal 1 - 3
India 47 Pukhrambam Sushila Chanu Penalty Stroke 1 - 4
India 48 Devi Sharmila Field Goal 1 - 5
India 50 Kaur Gurjit Penalty Stroke 1 - 6
India 52 Pukhrambam Sushila Chanu Penalty Stroke 1 - 7
via FIH

Full time: India win 7-1 and will return for the second match of the header tomorrow against China, 430 pm IST once again.

Player of the match: Sharmila Devi. She was one the bright sparks for India in the Asia Cup too. It could have been any number of attacking players today, really. Vandana Katariya and Lalremsiami were also brilliant for the Indians. Here’s a look at the full-time stats.

FULL TIME: IND 7-1 CHN: Full time! That was some second half from India! Perhaps egged on by the goal China scored to make it 3-1, they just poured forward and made it a big win.

Q4: IND 7-1 CHN: Final seconds... India heading for a big win on debut.

Q4: IND 7-1 CHN: India on the backfoot for this phase of play... of course, why not. Huge lead now and they can see this out. Credit to China for trying to press high late and trying to get back one or two.

Q4: IND 7-1 CHN: So much happening that India winning a PC and going close to scoring feels like a non-event at this point. Monika tried the variation India do with Rani sometimes, seemed on target but blocked. Immediately after the India goal, China nearly scored another too. Great last-ditch defending there by the Indians.

Q4: IND 7-1 CHN GOAL, INDIA! Oh wow! Three penalty strokes... can’t remember that happening. Sushila makes no mistake. China, as the commentators said, are not the most experienced team and India have just rolled past them in this phase. Lalremsiami involved again in the build-up play, her cutback to Deepika is diverted goalward and is stopped by a China foot beyond the goalkeeper leading to a stroke.

Q4: IND 6-1 CHN GOAL, INDIA! Lalremsiami does brilliantly (she has been superb) to go through on goal and she is brought down late. Leads to a penalty stroke, Gurjit Kaur calmly rolls it in

Q4: IND 5-1 CHN GOAL, INDIA! Monika and Vandana do brilliantly to set up a chance and it is eventually tapped in by Sharmila at the far post. Great phase for the Indian team, just when China upped the ante towards the end of Q3. Great response, scoring late and changing gears late in the game are good signs.

Q4: IND 4-1 CHN GOAL, INDIA! Sushila Chanu makes no mistake from a penalty stroke. Lalremsiami did brilliantly to win a PC, and that led to the stroke.

Q4, India 3-1 China: Deep Grace with a nicely worked PC move and the resulting confusion leads to a penalty stroke for India.

Q4, India 3-1 China: Lalremsiami with another smart late deflection onto an opponent boot. Another PC for India.

Q4 begins. It might be Savita back in goal for India, waiting for confirmation.

End of Q3: Both teams have actually played better hockey in Q3. It’s a much more even battle now and the errors in possession have gone down. Has made for a good contest. Vandana’s goal was a lovely one. China finish the quarter on front foot. India need to wary of a late comeback here.

Q3, India 3-1 China: Goal, China! They pull back one at least quickly. Deep Grace Ekka might have gotten the final touch there. Goal given to Xue Deng of China (as there are no own goals in hockey, the commentators remind us).

Q3, India 3-0 China: GOAL, INDIA! Vandana Katariya just brilliant there. A good through ball down the left channel, she takes an early shot on goal that is save but quick to hit the rebound into the net. Just a little while earlier, backup goalkeeper Rajani was called into action twice.

Q3, India 2-0 China: Both teams are keeping the ball better in this half, it must be said. Must have been addressed by both coaching teams.

Q3, India 2-0 China: Somehow it is still 2-0! Good drag flick by Gurjit but it is saved and the ball bobbling around at goalmouth is somehow kept out by the Chinese defence

Q3, India 2-0 China: The pitch has been watered and there are a few puddles around. Don’t usually see on that these turfs. India have started on the front foot... a big chance for India but Lalremsiami missed the ball but fortunately for it hits Chinese player’s leg. And it is a PC.

Players are back out for the second half.

HALF TIME: That’s a strong first-half performance by India and it shows on the stats. Savita had to make one save from the PC but it was all otherwise India. The two green cards, though, is something India would want to avoid.

End of Q2, India 2-0 China: Another fantastic piece of pacy attacking play down the left from India and this almost results in a goal, Sharmila (we think) couldn’t get the final touch. Hard to say with the distant camera angles but there is no mistaking India’s brilliance from that side of the pitch. And soon after, the hooter goes for half time.

Q2, India 2-0 China: Deep Grace Ekka, just after dealing with a defensive situation, starts a move from India’s area and they build up a lovely passing move from right to left, but the final touch went missing.

Q2, India 2-0 China: Brilliant pressing from India! And Lalremisami does so well to earn a PC with a clever piece of stickwork. The drag flick from Gurjit is powerful but it is wide. Good spell for India this, six mins to go.

Q2, India 2-0 China: Two green cards for India in this phase of play. Sharmila and before that Salima. But they hold firm for this phase.

Q2, India 2-0 China: Bit cagey now... neither team able to build any sustained pressure of possession. Too many stray balls, stray dribbles at the moment.

Q2, India 2-0 China: China pressing very high at the start of the quarter. They need a response quickly.

End of Q1: Great start this for India... two field goals in the first quarter. And well deserved lead too. Neha with the second, another move down the left wing.

Q1, India 2-0 China, GOAL! Another move down the left by India. Neha gets the final touch. This is a slight change to how they pressed China down the right in the early stages of the recent match. Good switch up.

Q1, India 1-0 China: Save-ita is here! Called up nice and early to make a save from China’s PC... gets down to her right quickly and on time. The ball goes over the post and India regather.

Q1, India 1-0 China: A PC for China now as they look to strike back immediately.

Q1, India 1-0 China: GOAL INDIA! The pressure pays off. Another move down the left as Dee gets a good ball in from deep and after a scrap, the ball finds the back of the net. Quite tough to figure out who got the final shot in but it might be Navneet Kaur. Sharmila did well there in the build-up.

Q1, India 0-0 China: India looking to press high, but China have the first real chance. India counter and the goalkeeper is on the floor too early but India cannot find the back of the net. Another move down the left and another good chance, Monika misses the chance to have a go at goal. Solid start by India. The commentators have just confirmed there are no referrals (we had them in the medal matches for Asia Cup at this venue).

Q1, India 0-0 China: PUSHBACK! Quick turnaround from the Asia Cup, India will want to start fast here.

There might be a change in the lineup since Hockey India released the lineup. Savita Punia is not in the middle, Deep Grace Ekka is leading it seems. Remains to be seen if it is just goalkeeper rotation? Oh, it’s a co-captaincy thing. Both are around.

Time for the national anthems in Muscat.

Ahead of FIH Hockey Pro League debut, India captain Savita Punia happy with how team is shaping up

Speaking on the challenge in store, India head coach Janneke Schopman said that they are excited to start their FIH Hockey Pro League 2021-’22 campaign against a strong China team.

“We are excited to start our Pro League campaign and look to build on our performance in the Asia Cup by hopefully creating and converting our opportunities as well as having a clinical defense,” Schopman said.

“China has shown to be a good team here in the Asia Cup. While they did not finish in the top three, their game stats show that they were even to all top three teams,” she added.

Savita Punia, who will continue to lead the team as captain in the FIH Hockey Pro League matches against China, said that they would look to build upon their recent performances at the Women’s Asia Cup 2022.

“We not only managed to qualify for the FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup Spain & Netherlands 2022 but also earned a podium finish. We are happy with how the team is shaping up and are looking forward to building upon the same in the upcoming matches,” Savita said.

04.20 pm: Hello and welcome to the live coverage of the FIH Hockey Pro League where Indian women make their tournament debut against China in Muscat today.

As well as the usual suspects, the renowned global international league will feature four new teams that, for one season only, will be determined to make a big splash in the third edition of the competition. The women’s teams of India and Spain will both take to the field in the next two weeks, while the men of South Africa and France – who were confirmed as participants earlier this week – will step onto the turf later in February.

In the women’s competition, the Netherlands can expect strong challenges from Tokyo 2020 silver medallists Argentina as well as England, Germany, China, Belgium, USA, India and Spain.

Fascinatingly, the action begins in Muscat, Oman, where China and India women will take to the field both on 31 January and 1st February following the conclusion of the Women’s Asia Cup, where India defeated China last week to clinch bronze medal.

(With FIH inputs)

Screenshots in the blog courtesy FIH / Disney+Hotstar