India defeat Spain 1-0 in the final: The importance of the win, apart from the handy cash rewards as announced by Hockey India below, is that the Indian women’s team are now guaranteed a spot in the FIH Pro League for 2023-’24, which is going to be huge in preparing for the Paris Olympics, assuming they qualify for the Games. Without Pro League, quality game-time is not easy to come by and the importance of this can’t be overstated.

That will be all for tonight, folks. Hope you enjoyed our coverage.

Winning moments:

Goalkeeper of the tournament: Savita Punia.

Final, FULL TIME India 1-0 Spain: INDIA HAVE WON! Nations Cup winners. Into the Pro League next season. Brilliant, brilliant match.

Final, Q4 India 1-0 Spain: Spain win the ball high. Come into the circle but India ball! Is that it?

Final, Q4 India 1-0 Spain: Super tackle by Grace. Just outside the circle when Spain had so much pressure.

Final, Q4 India 1-0 Spain: SAVE BY SAVITA! And good defence by Nikki, I think. India hang on.

Final, Q4 India 1-0 Spain: Lucia Jimenez, what a game she is having! Savita saves from a shot across goal but it results in a PC. Less than 2 mins to go.

Final, Q4 starts India 1-0 Spain: Last three mins. India did well to keep the ball for a while. Slowing down here. Good for them.

Final, Q4 India 1-0 Spain: “Neha has been everywhere hasn’t she?” “She has been the center of everything good for India!” Can’t disagree there with the commentators

Final, Q4 India 1-0 Spain: Super tense at the moment. End to end. Less than 4 to go. Big chants of ‘India India’ being heard.

Final, Q4 India 1-0 Spain: SALIMA TETE! Close. Superb run down the left, and she has space to run and pace to burn. Enters the circle and unleashes a shot. Saved by Martinez.

Final, Q4 India 1-0 Spain: Saved by a combination of Savita and Deep Grace. CHANCE SPAIN!

Final, Q4 India 1-0 Spain: Spain started the quarter so well but they haven’t been able to create since. India had a good spell of possession but the ball is back with SPain now.

Final, Q4 India 1-0 Spain: Right then, into the last 8 mins,

Final, Q4 India 1-0 Spain: Rare pressure from India down Spain’s circle. They can’t sustain for too long. Monika’s pass nearly deflected in by Vandana in the near post. But a pause in play now as a Spanish player takes the ball on the face. Nasty. Júlia STRAPPATO that is.

Final, Q4 India 1-0 Spain: Great defending from SIAMI! Looked like a terrific variation from Spain but the rusher steadies herself to and dives to tackle.

Final, Q4 India 1-0 Spain: Good work by Alvarez to win a PC. Rash tackle from an Indian player. But no cards there. A PC to defend though.

Final, Q4 India 1-0 Spain: Good work by Navjot to keep the ball in the corner and then India play out well. The Indian fans are making themselves heard.

Final, Q4 starts India 1-0 Spain: It’s all... VERY TENSE. India used their review superbly to chalk Spain’s equaliser out. They still have the lead. Spain think they have scored... and they want to refer this. But of course no review left for them.

Final, End of Q3 India 1-0 Spain: Udita will be missing the first 90 seconds or so of the final quarter. India nearly conceded the equaliser but a great review by them sees the lead in tact.

Final, Q3 India 1-0 Spain: Udita is off to the chair, green card for 2-min suspension.

Final, Q3 India 1-0 Spain: Spain overloading the midfield at the moment... India haven’t created too much of note in the last few minutes. Spain seem likelier to score the next.

Final, Q3 India 1-0 Spain: REVIEW WORKS! Wow. Big moment. Deemed not to have travelled 5m before the ball was brought into the circle. India stay in the lead.

Final, Q3 India 1-0 Spain: Spain score... or have they? Jimenez with a superb finish but India have reviewed this for the 5m rule.

Final, Q3 India 1-0 Spain: Spain are trying aerial balls now because of how compact India have been. Oh that Segu chance was another good save by Savita. The game is starting to get just a bit stretched after a cagey little phase.

Final, Q3 India 1-0 Spain: CHANCE SPAIN! A dangerous ball towards goal by Segu, the ball looked like it was going to loop over. But India somehow deal with it.

Final, Q3 India 1-0 Spain: Oh good save. Spain have Jana Martinez in goal now and she gets her foot to this drag flick on goal from Gurjit. By the way, Spain lost their review during that PC call.

Final, Q3 India 1-0 Spain: Oh, superb from Navneet Kaur to drive into the circle. A PC given to India but Spain review this.

Final, Q3 India 1-0 Spain: Oh Spain on the charge right away. India had to be alert there.

Final, Q3 India 1-0 Spain: After a false start, we are underway.

India coach Janneke Schopman: We are doing pretty well, we played the game how we want to. I would have liked for us to see the little bit more of the ball. But overall I am happy.

Spain coach Adrian Lock: Will be pretty much the same I imagine, with India being direct with their dribbling. We saw little more of the ball Q2 and we’d like to attack more.


Final, End of Q2 India 1-0 Spain: HALF TIME. India have the lead heading into the break. It’s been a high quality match it must be said.

Final, Q2 India 1-0 Spain: Sonika does well to dribble inside the circle but Spain deal with it.

Final, Q2 India 1-0 Spain: Brilliant stick control from Jimenez at the edge of the attacking circle but India are very compact in defence, deal with the threat well.

Final, Q2 India 1-0 Spain: Brilliant tackling from Vandana and she holds the ball before bringing in the midfielders. Great play that. India able to attack from there.

Final, Q2 India 1-0 Spain: Now a rare foray forward from India, with Neha once again heavily involved. But Spain defend their corner well.

Final, Q2 India 1-0 Spain: Sustained pressure from Spain here. India are in their own half. Not looking to press too high.

Final, Q2 India 1-0 Spain: Sara Barrios with the move to get the PC. Will the Spanish pressure pay off? Not yet. Deflected wide.

Final, Q2 India 1-0 Spain: Nice spell for Spain and it results in their second PC of the night.

Final, Q2 India 1-0 Spain: Not sure if it’s because of the bigger turnout from fans, but there is not much heard from the sidelines here from coach Schopman. Usually very vocal.

Final, Q2 India 1-0 Spain: The hosts attack and Deep Grace had to be alert to clear away.

Final, Q2 India 1-0 Spain: CHANCE! Navneet sets up Siami down the center but the youngster swings and misses. On target, might have been a goal there.

Final, Q2 India 1-0 Spain: A good effort from Gurjit, low to the GK’s right this time but saved well.

Final, Q2 India 1-0 Spain: A PC for India early in Q2. Lovely from Siami to cut in from left.

Final, End of Q1 India 1-0 Spain: Gurjit Kaur sees India in the lead at the end of Q1. A relaxed, solid performance so far. Spain nearly took the lead from their first PC.

Final, Q1 India 1-0 Spain: Solid possession for India. They can afford to take their time here, allow Spain to come at them. With the pace in their ranks, it’s not the worst thing for them.

Final, Q1 India 1-0 Spain: Sonika coming in for big praise from the commentators. She has had a really good week in Spain. And on cue, makes a fine tackle in midfield. Spain attack down the middle but the final pass is too heavy.

Final, Q1 India 1-0 Spain: GOAL INDIA! And Spain finally concede in the tournament. Gurjit Kaur converts from her first attempt on the night... speak about delivering at the right time. Nice drag flick to the left of the Spanish GK.

Final, Q1 India 0-0 Spain: India win their first PC.

Final, Q1 India 0-0 Spain: Savita with an early save! Good shot on goal but the prone Savita, gets her foot to it. There is more pressure on India from the resulting play. But they hang on.

Final, Q1 India 0-0 Spain: Spain are yet to concede in this tournament... and they have a PC early after a good review.

Final, Q1 India 0-0 Spain: Pushback in Valencia.

Team sheets:

Adrian Lock: We have played them recently a few times, we have set up as per. Two really good teams, have done the job to reach the final. Both teams would know we have certainly learned a lot. India play exciting vertical hockey. Only shame today is that one of us won’t be there in Pro League next season.

Janneke Schopman: We are focussing on ourself. Need to be strong on our principles. Both teams will want to go to the Pro League, so it will be exciting.

From our interview with Janneke Schopman:

Could you recall two nights for us? The night of the Spain defeat at the World Cup, and the night of the Australia defeat in the semifinals at the Commonwealth Games. As a coach, in your career, how difficult were those two nights, knowing that you had to bounce back so quickly? And how easy or difficult did the team make it for you?

I think Spain was especially tough because it was back-to-back. In less than 24 hours, we had to show up again. I was really disappointed in myself, maybe after that Spain game. I was quite sad and I said it to the girls also. I was crying, and I was trying to find a space for myself. I was just sad for them. Because I know what they put in and how close we were against a good country in their home.

I got them together. And I said, ‘look, you know, I’m just sad. And I want you all to know I’m sad. And it’s not because I think you did anything wrong or something. I just wished for you guys that we would have made it. Tomorrow’s a new day, we can all be sad now or angry, or whatever it is. And tomorrow, we’ll start again, and we’ll prepare for Canada.’

The girls are great like that, I think they allow also a little bit more their emotions to be. But the next morning, it needs to change. I am very thankful, because they always listen, and they always want to try. That day against Canada, of course, they’re physically tired and mentally drained. We’re doing activation and energy was so low. I was just bracing for what will happen. I tried to reach them, and they respond, they always respond. I thought we fought hard in that game. And that’s kind of life in a nutshell, you have to get up every time.

Hockey World Cup, India vs Spain as it happened: Heartbreak for Savita & Co as hosts snatch it late

Hello and welcome to our coverage of Indian hockey. FIH Hockey Women’s Nations Cup Spain 2022 comes to a conlcusion today and Savita Punia-led India take on Spain in the final.

Time for the big one, tonight. Not just the title at stake in the inaugural edition of this tournament but a spot in Pro League next season is at stake.

Three meetings between India and Spain women’s hockey teams so far in 2022, all of them have been decided by a single goal margin. India had their World Cup run ended early by Spain, also in Spain.

India’s squad for FIH Women’s Nations Cup

Goalkeepers: Savita Punia (Captain), Bichu Devi Kharibam 

Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka (Vice Captain), Gurjit Kaur, Nikki Pradhan, Udita, Ishika Chaudhary 

Midfielders: Nisha, Salima Tete, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Monika, Neha, Sonika, Jyoti, Navjot Kaur

Forwards: Vandana Katariya, Lalremsiami, Navneet Kaur, Sangita Kumari, Beauty Dungdung. 

The FIH Hockey Nations Cup features the best eight teams (by world rankings) that are not a part of the FIH Hockey Pro League, in both men’s and women’s competitions. The eight teams are split into two pools of four teams each, with the top two teams in each pool proceeding to the semi-finals and beyond. The first placed team in the FIH Hockey Nations Cup will replace the bottom placed team in the FIH Hockey Pro League in the subsequent year.