The Indian women’s hockey team failed to qualify for next year’s Women’s World Cup after they lost 2-0 to Japan in the Hockey World League semi-final on Thursday. India had to win the crucial tie if they were to qualify for next year’s World Cup, however, they were beaten fair and square by Japan.

Japan, who are ranked World No 16, beat India, who are No 12 in the world, with ease. The India defense lacked the caliber and skill to stop the Japanese forwards. Japan opened the scoring within the first seven minutes of the game with Kana Nomura netting the opener. Naho Ichitani doubled the lead in the 29th minute as Japan opened a 2-0 lead and also seal the match for her team.

With the loss, India will now face South Africa or Ireland for the 7/8th position. Their only win of the tournament had come against Chile – a team ranked 20th. They have struggled against all teams ranked higher than them and their loss against Japan shows the amount of work required to make them a force to reckon with on the field.