India’s women’s hockey team on Friday defeated defending champions Japan 4-2 to seal a place in the final of the Asia Cup, where they will meet China.
In-form Gurjit Kaur scored twice, taking her tally to seven goals in the tournament. Navjot Kaur and Lalremsiami netted the other two.
India got off the blocks in fine fashion, as they drilled in three goals in a span of the just two minutes. Gurjit led the charge with her mean drag flick from a penalty corner in the seventh minute. Navjot doubled India’s advantage two minutes later with an exquisite field goal. Gurjit scored her second of the game a minute later to send India marching to a commanding 3-0 lead.
The Japanese outfit, though, did not let go without a fight as Shiho Tsujii and Yui Ishibashi found the back of the net to throw the game wide open at half-time.
Despite the scare, India were not placed on shaky ground. They came back strong in the second half. Lalremsiami took the game beyond the Japanese with her first of the tournament’s first and India’s fourth of the game.
India did well to hold on to the lead from then on to complete a hard-fought win.
The final will be a repeat of the 2009 edition, which China won by a 5-3 margin. India have not won the tournament since emerging champions in 2004.
- India 4 (Gurjit Kaur x 2, Navjot Kaur, Lalremsiami) beat Japan 2 (Shiho Tsujii, Yui Ishibashi).