Their campaign back on track after a wobbly start, India would look for another spirited all-round performance to outwit lower-ranked Italy in their final pool match and progress to the semifinals of the FIH Women's Olympic Qualifier here on Tuesday. The Indians, ranked sixth in the world, did not have the best of starts to the tournament as they lost to world no. 12 USA 0-1 in their opening Pool B match. But the Savita Punia-led side bounced back strongly and produced a masterclass performance to beat New Zealand 3-1 in a must-win match on Sunday, which kept their Paris Olympics hopes alive. Hockey India Congratulates Navneet Kaur on Completing 150 International Caps After Forward Achieves Feat in IND vs NZ FIH Olympic Qualifiers 2024 Match.

Having missed the bus through Asian Games, the ongoing tournament is India's only chance to qualify for this year's Olympics as top three teams from here will book Paris tickets. The USA are atop Pool B with two wins, while India and New Zealand currently have three points each but the hosts are below the Black Sticks on goal difference. And come Tuesday, the Indians would look for nothing less than a comprehensive win over world no. 20 Italy to progress to the next stage.

Top two teams from each pool will progress to the semifinals scheduled for Thursday. If the performance against the Americans on Saturday was lacklustre, it was a complete turnaround for the Indians against the Black Sticks.

Leaving behind the opening match disappointment, the Indians played near-perfect hockey against New Zealand to secure the comfortable win.

The Indians were guilty of hurrying with their passes and not playing according to their style -- short, crisp attacking hockey -- against the USA. But Sunday night, it was a complete turnaround as they utilised every corner of the pitch, including flanks, to build their moves which bore fruit. And, chief coach Janneke Schopman would be expecting the same from her side on Tuesday.

There was perfect co-ordination among the backline, midfield and forward players, a thing which was missing against the USA. Salima Tete was omnipresent on the pitch against New Zealand. She was stellar with her performance and build up attacks for the forwardline from left, right and centre.

The forwardline too shone bright with the likes of Sangita Kumari, Jyoti, Navneet Kaur and Lalremsiami living up to the team's expectations and the team management would be be looking for an encore. The backline, consisting of Monika, Beauty Dung Dung, Sonika and Udita were simply brilliant against New Zealand, drawing praise from coach Schopman, who will be looking for consistency from her side.

Despite Udita converting a penalty corner against New Zealand, the Indians still have plenty to work on that front. Penalty corner conversion continues to be India's biggest problem as they have converted just one out of the 13 they earned in two matches. Italy, on the other hand, are out of the reckoning after losing two games but would be looking to spoil India's party. Schopman, expectedly, is not taking the Italians lightly.

"It's going to be tough because they are feisty, they are Argentinian-spirited, mediterranean-style. But if we move the ball, if we show patience, then our skills will come to shine. Penalty corner, we need to make sure we execute. We need to make sure that our strikers are in good position inside the striking circle." Schopman said about India's next match. Indian Women's Hockey Team Registers Spectacular 3-1 Win Against New Zealand in FIH Olympic Qualifiers.

One advantage for India is that they will play after the USA vs New Zealand Pool B match on Tuesday, and they will have a clear idea about the margin of win they need against Italy.

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