Women’s Asia Cup Hockey: India beat China 2-0 to win bronze medal

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Muscat:Defending champions India beat China 2-0 to be content with third place in the Women’s Asia Cup hockey tournament here on Friday. The Indian players, leaving behind their semi-final disappointment from Korea, maintained control in the first two quarters and scored two goals during the same period to take a 2-0 lead over China at half-time. However, the team could not score any goal in the second half. The Indian players started well and got two penalty corners in one of which Sharmila Devi gave her team the lead in the 13th minute. Gurjit Kaur’s flick was intercepted by China’s defensive line and Sharmila scored on the rebound. India continued to play in the same rhythm in the second quarter as well. The Indian players kept the pressure on China’s defensive line with continuous dents and then got another penalty corner in the 19th minute. Gurjeet converted it into a goal with a superb drag flick to make the score 2-0. China also retaliated by getting a penalty corner but Indian captain and goalkeeper Savita Poonia thwarted it brilliantly. After trailing by two goals, the Chinese team turned very aggressive after changing ends and tried to put pressure on the Indian defensive line but they could not succeed. The Indians had built up the pressure in the fourth and final quarter, but they could not find any perfect opportunity. China secured a penalty corner 10 minutes before the scheduled time, but it was thwarted by the Indians with a good defense. At the end of the match, China kept trying and got three penalty corners in a row in the same process but their players could not take advantage of them. Japan’s team will face Korea in the final. Defending champions India had to bear the brunt of lack of match practice due to the COVID-19 pandemic after finishing a historic fourth at the Tokyo Olympics as the team crashed out of the title race for not performing well in crucial matches. India suffered a 0-2 loss to Asian Games champions Japan after thrashing a weak Malaysia 9-0 in the opening match. They qualified for the semi-finals after beating Singapore 9-1. But in the semi-finals, some poor defense and failure to take advantage of penalty corners shattered India’s hopes as they lost 2-3 to Korea.

[Attribution to NBT]

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