Kakamigahara, October 31: The Indian Women’s Hockey Team on Monday came up with an all-around performance to register a commanding 4-1 victory over China in their second Pool A match at the Women’s Asia Cup 2017 being held at Kakamigahara Kawasaki Stadium, Japan.
India was quick to get off the blocks as they won a penalty corner in the first 15 minutes of the match to put China on the back foot. Though the PC attempt was well defended by China and ended the first quarter in a stalemate, the second quarter saw India’s drag-flick specialist Gurjit Kaur convert a splendid goal to give India a 1-0 lead in the 19th minute.
Later, the following minutes saw both teams play cautiously. While India rotated the ball with calm heads and made their way into the striking circle, China was strong on defense to deny India any success. However, after the 10-minute break, India came back strongly to score a field goal in the 32nd minute through Navjot Kaur and double their lead.
But a defensive error in the circle saw India concede a PC in the 38th minute. China capitalized on this opportunity and narrowed the goal difference to 1-2 through Qiuxia Cui’s successful conversion. The final few minutes of the match was tense with China pushing hard to equalize but Indian defense stayed resolute.
In the 49th minute, India won a crucial PC and a clever variation saw Neha Goyal deflect the ball past China goalkeeper Jiao Ye and clinch the much-needed 3-1 lead for her team. The last 10-minute of the match saw both teams trade PCs. While India won two PCs and China won a PC, both teams could not make use of the chance to score. However, the action didn’t end at that as India skipper Rani scored a sensational field goal in the 58th minute to fetch India a 4-1 lead and post a strong victory.
Interestingly, from the Indian side, the goals were scored by Gurjit Kaur in the 19th minute, Navjot Kaur in the 32nd minute, Neha Goyal in the 49th minute and Rani in the 58th minute that ensured India kept up their winning momentum in the tournament. The team had previously beaten Singapore 10-0 in their opening match. India will play its third and final group match against Malaysia on Tuesday in the Japanese city of Kakamigahara. The Indian eves are currently at the top of 4-team Pool-A.