Hockey News: India wins the inaugural FIH Women's Nations Cup with a 1-0 victory over Spain

    The India women's hockey squad defeated Spain 1-0 in the championship clash of the 2022 FIH Women's Nations Cup campaign at Estadio Betero in Valencia, Spain, on December 17 

    India defeated Spain 1-0 India defeated Spain 1-0

    India went through the tournament undefeated and has now qualified for the 2023-24 FIH Hockey Women's Pro League. In the 6th minute, Gurjit Kaur was the lone goalscorer for India, while none of the players from Spain could score.

    The two highest-ranked women's hockey teams set up a fantastic championship clash in the inaugural edition of the 2022 FIH Hockey Women's Nations Cup.

    Spain began the match aggressively as India altered its strategy to push toward the midfield instead of using what it did in the earlier clashes of the tournament. Spain won a penalty corner in the fifth minute of the first quarter, but Savita made an excellent save in a moment of goalkeeping brilliance.

    <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Congratulations to the Indian Women&#39;s Hockey Team for winning Gold in the FIH Hockey Nations Cup 2022 and for qualifying in the FIH Hockey Pro League 2023-24.<br><br>We are proud <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TeamBlue?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TeamBlue</a> 💙<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/IndiaKaGame?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#IndiaKaGame</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HockeyIndia?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HockeyIndia</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FIHNationsCup?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FIHNationsCup</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/CMO_Odisha?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CMO_Odisha</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/sports_odisha?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@sports_odisha</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/IndiaSports?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@IndiaSports</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/Media_SAI?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Media_SAI</a> <a href="https://t.co/sku6mMjw6t">pic.twitter.com/sku6mMjw6t</a></p>&mdash; Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) <a href="https://twitter.com/TheHockeyIndia/status/1604153962470727681?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 17, 2022</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

    The Indian side immediately launched a counterattack. Gurjit Kaur slotted the ball into the net past the Spanish goalkeeper Clara Perez with an excellent drag flick to gain a 1-0 lead for India.

    <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">India beat Spain 1-0 in the Final; Win the FIH Women&#39;s Hockey Nations Cup in Valencia.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FIHNationsCup?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FIHNationsCup</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HockeyIndia?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HockeyIndia</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/IndiaSports?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@IndiaSports</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/Media_SAI?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Media_SAI</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/TheHockeyIndia?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TheHockeyIndia</a> <a href="https://t.co/BYZYu4nH7T">pic.twitter.com/BYZYu4nH7T</a></p>&mdash; All India Radio News (@airnewsalerts) <a href="https://twitter.com/airnewsalerts/status/1604153210783948800?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 17, 2022</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

    Just one minute later, Gurjit got close to doubling India's lead, but the Spanish keeper parried it away. Spain broke into the Indian circle twice in the dying minutes of the first half, but the Indian defence held firm to go into the second half with a narrow lead.

    Spain returned to the field with renewed vigour in the second half and pressed hard with hopes of levelling the score.

    The hosts found the back of the Indian net, but the goal was overturned. 

    Spain continued to push forward into the Indian circle.

    However, the Indian side put forth an excellent display of defensive discipline to help India hold on to their narrow lead until the end of the regulation.

    After the victory, the player of the match, Neha, said, "We took an early lead and played well as a complete unit to protect it, and come out as winners."

    In the day's other match, Japan secured a 3-2 victory over Ireland to finish their FIH Women's Nations Cup in the third spot.