India, champions in the previous edition, defeated China 2-0 to register a third place finish at the women’s Asia Cup hockey tournament In Muscat on Friday.
India bounced back from their semifinal defeat to Korea and controlled the proceedings in the first two quarters, scoring two goals in the process, to go into half time with a 2-0 lead against China.
The Indians started brightly and earned a couple of penalty corners and from one such situation, Sharmila Devi gave her side the lead in the 13th minute, scoring from a rebound after Gurjit Kaur’s initial flick was saved by the Chinese defence.
India continued in the same vein in the second quarter and had the better share of chances.
The Indians kept up the pressure on the Chinese defence with relentless raids and secured another penalty corner in the 19th minute which was converted by Gurjit with a superb drag-flick to make the scoreline 2-0.
China responded swiftly, securing a penalty corner which was brilliantly kept away by India captain and goalkeeper Savita Punia.
Down by two goals, China came out with more intent after the change of ends and tried to put pressure on the Indian defence but to no avail.
The Indians kept up the pressure on the Chinese defence at the start of the fourth and final quarter but failed to create any clear cut chances.
China earned a penalty corner 10 minutes before time but the Indians defended in numbers to thwart any danger to their citadel.
Towards the end of the match, China pressed hard and secured three consecutive penalty corners with two minutes left in the clock but lacked in final execution as the chances went wasted.
After defeating Malaysia 9-0 in their opener, India lost 0-2 against Asian Games champions Japan before beating Singapore 9-1 to qualify for the semifinals.
India had their moments against Korea but eventually went down 2-3 and moved to the third place match.
Inputs from PTI