Updated January 19th, 2024 at 13:06 IST
MS Dhoni comes out to watch India vs Germany match in Olympic Qualifiers, receives a hero's welcome
The former Indian cricket team captain, MS Dhoni, came to support the India women's hockey team's qualifier match against Germany in Ranchi.
In a thrilling encounter at the FIH Women’s Hockey Olympic Qualifiers, India faced a heart-wrenching loss against Germany in a penalty shootout, in their quest for a spot at the Paris 2024 Olympics. With the score tied 2-2 at the end of full time, the match proceeded to a shootout, where Germany displayed remarkable resilience, claiming victory. India now sets its sights on the bronze-medal match against Japan, marking Janneke Schopman's team's final opportunity to secure a place at the quadrennial games.
3 things you need to know
- Germany beat India in penalty shootout
- India will compete against Japan for the 3rd-place match
- India needs to beat Japan to qualify for the Paris Olympics
MS Dhoni supported the Indian women's hockey squad at the FIH Olympic qualifiers
During the FIH Women's Hockey Olympic Qualifiers, India suffered a 3-4 penalty shootout loss to Germany. The hotly contested match concluded in a 2-2 stalemate in normal time, forcing the shootout. Germany's victory in this match won them a coveted berth at the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Former Indian cricket captain MS Dhoni was observed applauding from the stands during the FIH Olympic qualifier in Ranchi, demonstrating his strong support for the Indian women's hockey squad. The shots of Dhoni receiving accolades in the stadium went viral on social media. Despite Dhoni's attendance and support, India failed to win a victory, losing to Germany in a penalty shootout.
The setback, however, does not completely end India's Olympic dreams. The hosts will have another chance to qualify for the Olympics if they defeat Japan in the third-fourth-place game.
The top three teams from the FIH Olympic qualifications will advance to the Paris Games. Germany is now rated fifth in the world and will face the United States in the event's final.
Deepika (15th minute) and Ishika Chaudhary (59th minute) scored for India in regular time, whereas Charlotte Stapenhorst of Germany scored twice (27th and 57th minutes). Despite unrelenting support and the presence of cricket icon Dhoni, the Indian squad came up short on this occasion.
Nonetheless, the Indian women's team's determined effort has kept their Olympic hopes alive. The support of Ranchi fans, including Dhoni, demonstrates the rising popularity and passion for women's hockey in India. Encouraged by Dhoni's support, the home team showed commitment and battling spirit, guaranteeing an exciting battle against Japan.
Published January 19th, 2024 at 11:34 IST