The Indian team put up a solid performance in their Hockey Junior Women’s World Cup quarterfinal match to come up with a comprehensive 3-0 win over South Korea on Friday.
India came into the match as Pool D toppers, having picked up wins against Wales (5-1), Germany (2-1) and Malaysia (4-0) in the group stage.
Against two-time champions South Korea, India continued in that same vein of form.
Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup, India vs Korea as it happened: India through to semis after 3-0 win
Both teams matched each other in midfield in the opening 10 minutes, sharing possession and chances. India though took the lead in the 11th minute when Mumtaz Khan deflected Salima Tete’s slapped penalty corner.
The Indians started to create more chances and moments before the first quarter hooter, Lalrindiki pounced on a weak clearance by Korean goalkeeper Eunji Kim to tap home the second goal.
A third goal came in the third quarter, with 41 minutes on the clock. Beauty Dung Dung neatly controlled a lobbed ball from the left, but when she cued up to shoot, she almost completely missed the ball, accidentally getting a nick that pushed it to Sangita Kumari. The weak attempt threw off Kim in the Korean goal, leaving Sangita to comfortably slot home the third.
It was India who dominated the match, playing largely on second-gear. There were a few instances when Korea made a few threatening charges in the Indian circle, but India’s defence, martialled by vice-captain Ishika Chaudhary, held firm comfortably. So much so that Bichu Devi Kharibam in the Indian goal was not needed to make any difficult save.
The win put India in the semi-final for the second time in the tournament’s history, after the team reached this stage in 2013 and went on to win bronze.
The current batch of youngsters will face the Netherlands, who beat South Africa 5-0 in their quarterfinal.
India’s semi-final against Netherlands will take place at 17:00 hrs IST on Sunday, April 10.