Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Aug.7 : The India women's hockey team, who were in action for the first time in 36 years, kicked off their Rio Olympics campaign with a 2-2 draw against Japan in their first Pool B match here on Sunday.
Japan opened their account first when defender Nishikori Emi struck a penalty corner in the 14th minute of the match to end the opening quarter with a 1-0 lead against India, which is led by Sushila Chanu.
Towards the end of the second quarter, Japan striker Nakashima doubled her side's lead by deflecting the cross successfully past Indian goalkeeper Savita Punia as India trailed 0-2 against Japan at the end of the first half.
India finally managed to open their scoring at the start of the third quarter with striker Rani Rampal converting a penalty corner into a goal.
Midfielder Lilima Minz, then, equalised the score for India with just last five minutes of the third quarter via a superb slap again off a penalty corner.
Although Japan appealed for a video referral for dangerous play after India's second goal, it was turned down.
The third quarter ended at 2-2. In the final quarter, both sides continued to trade possession, with Japan making a move from the right but India defended well to deny the opposition a win.
With less than six minutes to go before the final whistle, India were rewarded with a penalty corner, but Japan goalie Asano Sakiyo produced a resilient display by saving a goal as the match ended at 2-2.
India will take on Great Britain in their next group clash on Tuesday..