The Salima Tete-led Indian junior women's hockey team had an impressive unbeaten streak in the group stage of the ongoing FIH Women's Hockey Junior World Cup in Potchefstroom, South Africa.
Team India advanced to the quarter-finals as table toppers from pool D with three wins in three matches; against Wales, Germany, and Malaysia.
The Indian team kickstarted their Junior World Cup campaign on a high as they thrashed Wales 5-1 in their first pool D match.
The Indian team then outplayed Germany 2-1 to register their second successive win. Next, they rattled the Malaysian team with a 4-0 scoreline in their final league match of the Junior World Cup.
Goalkeeper Bichu Devi Kharibam was the star of the match against Germany. She thwarted the German side's chances of slipping the ball into the goalpost several times. The goalie from Manipur spoke about her experience. saying:
"I think that exposure was very important for me. While I was nervous and felt the pressure during the Pro League debut match, I am able to play here without any pressure and with a free mind. We have come into this tournament with a burning desire to win and I think we are showcasing that attitude on the field."
The Indian team will square off against South Korea in the quarter-finals of the tournament on April 8. Speaking about the same, Ishika, another member of the team said:
"Yes, speed has been our advantage and Korea is a team who can slow their opponent down. This is something we will be conscious about and we (will) try to work our way around it and focus on creating space."
FIH Hockey Women's Junior World Cup: Quarter-finals match schedule & timings
Quarter-finals: India vs South Korea
Date: April 8, 2022; Timings: 12:30pm IST
All FIH 2022 Junior Women's World Cup matches can be streamed on https://watch.hockey and on the FanCode app https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dream11sportsguru.