Olympics 2021: India vs South Africa women's hockey preview & prediction

The Indians are in with a chance of qualifying for the quarters Image Ctsy: Hockey India
The Indians are in with a chance of qualifying for the quarters Image Ctsy: Hockey India
Subhashish Majumdar

The Indian women's hockey team take on South Africa in their last group match. They go into the match knowing that a win will put them within striking distance of a place in the quarterfinals of the Tokyo Olympics.

The Indians dominated the Irish but were denied by a dogged defense and some spectacular goalkeeping by Ayeisha McFerrin before a 57th-minute goal from Navneet Kaur sealed the deal in her team's favor.

Sjoerd Marijne's chargers will now aim to beat South Africa on Saturday morning, which will take them up to six points in the group standings.

After four games, Great Britain have six points while both India and Ireland have three points each.

If Great Britain beat Ireland in the last group match of the day tomorrow, the Indians will go through to the quarterfinals should they get past South Africa.

A draw against South Africa will be enough for Rani and co. to progress through to the quarterfinals if Great Britain win their match against Ireland.

If Ireland manage to beat Great Britain and India defeat South Africa, then GB, Ireland and India would all be tied on six points each. Then the Indians would be at a disadvantage on account of the goal difference factor.

The Indians have a goal difference of -8 as compared to Ireland who are at -5 while Great Britain are at +4.

The Indians got past South Africa in a group match at the 2018 Commonwealth Games thanks to a lone goal scored by skipper Rani Rampal and will have the edge against the African champions who are yet to win a match at the Tokyo Games.

Rani and co. will be hoping to do better with their PCs after having wasted 14 short corners against Ireland, but the coaching staff will no doubt be enthused by the passion shown by the team on Friday.

FIH Rankings:

India - 10

South Africa - 16


Sjoerd Marijne's team were unrelenting against the Irish and would like nothing better than to attack the South Africans early knowing a win could get them into the quarterfinals.

The morale of the team is high after the win against Ireland and considering what is at stake, the girls will be super-charged for the match which begins at 0845 IST.

Score Prediction:

India 3 - South Africa 0

Also Read: Olympics 2021 hockey: We missed a lot of opportunities, says women's captain Rani Rampal on India vs Ireland match

Edited by Diptanil Roy


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