Women's FIH Series Finals: Final - India vs Japan preview, prediction, telecast, date, start time and where to watch online
Using pace and power, the Chileans did manage to rattle Rani Rampal and co. in the first half of an exciting semifinal at Hiroshima, but the sheer skill and resolve of the Golden Girls proved decisive in a contest that ended with a 4-2 scoreline in favor of India.
Carolina Garcia's one-handed ball control and scorching runs charmed the spectators just as much as Navneet Kaur's brilliant individual effort early in the third quarter which tilted the scales in India's favor after both teams were tied 1-1 at half-time.
As a result of the remarkable performance, the Indians have booked themselves a place in the Olympic qualifiers but do have some unfinished business on hand.
The loss to Japan in the Asian Games final remains fresh in the minds of the Indian eves who now have a golden chance to avenge the defeat and end the competition on a high.
After beating Anthony Farry's side by a comfortable 4-1 margin in the Asian Champions Trophy in May of last year, the Indians began favorites at Jakarta but failed to get past a Japanese unit who managed just five shots on goal as compared to India's ten.
The Japanese earned two PCs and made the most of both to register a memorable 2-1 win over their continental rivals who will no doubt look to set the record straight at Hiroshima this evening.
The Asian Games champions have not been in the best of form lately and lost 1-3 to Chile in the pool stages before managing a hard-fought shootout win over Russia in the second semifinal of the FIH Series Finals.
Sakura Japan who were ranked 10th during Rio 2016 have now slipped to the 14th position as per the FIH while the Indians have climbed four rungs since holding Japan to a 2-2 draw in a pool match of the Olympic Games - and are the highest-ranked Asian side and ninth best in the world currently.
The contest at Hiroshima promises to be an absorbing affair and one that hockey lovers have been eagerly awaiting for a while now.
Gurjit Kaur has sent nine drag-flicks hurtling into the back of the net thus far (in addition to hitting the post twice) and will look to make amends for the Asian Games final where she failed to convert the only PC that her side earned.
Here is all you need to know about how the stats stack up between the two sides:
Head-to-head since 2013:
Total Matches: 16 (India 5, Japan 8, Draws 3)
Total Goals: (India 25, Japan 29)
Here is how you can catch all the action:
Event: Women's FIH Series Finals 2019
Venue: Hiroshima, Japan
Date: 23 June 2019
Time: 2:30 pm Indian Standard Time (IST)
Telecast: No Telecast in India
Live Streaming: FIH Live
Live Updates: Sportskeeda
The Indian defenders can ill afford to concede PCs considering what transpired in Jakarta while the strikers will need to be a lot sharper than they were in the Asian Games final. The Japanese seem to have specialized the art of retaining possession and sitting on a narrow lead - and early goals will be crucial for Sjoerd Marijne's chargers.