With five back to back victories, a total of 27 stunning goals during the hockey tournament – the Indian women’s hockey team is just one game away from winning the Asia Cup trophy as they beat Japanese team by 4-2 in the semi-final, on Friday.
Last month, Indian men’s hockey team clinched up the Asia Cup proudly, so with no intentions of breaking the jinx, Indian women’s hockey team has given yet another victory at the Asia Cup to enter the finale. The boys stayed unbeaten in the tournament and the girls can do the same with a win over China on Sunday. On Friday, the girls got a rollicking start after receiving back-to-back penalty corners right from the beginning. For the starters, drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur goaled at the 7th minute of the match, giving India the first lead over Japan. Within 2 minutes, Navjot Kaur doubled the lead with a stunning score-off with assistance of Vandana Katariya.
Adding icing to the cake, India immediately earned a penalty corner and Gujrit scored it again. All this in just three minutes stunned the Japanese team, compelling them to fight back. Hence, at 17th minute Japanese player Shiho Tsujii took the goal past Indian goal keeper Savita’s reach, and at 28th minute, she scored yet another goal to cut the score difference by 2-3 for Japan. With caution, India kept defending the successive desperate tries from Japanese team and finally, at 38th minute, Indian player Lalremsiami extended India’s lead by 4-2 – ensuring their ticket to the finale against China on Sunday.
India’s Asian dominance in men’s hockey is beyond doubts, but the women left behind defending champions Japan and Korea, both ranked higher, to reach the final where they meet the continent’s best and top-ranked team in China. Indian women team had not been in top-four since past eight years and it has finally booked at least a silver medal at the Asia Cup after 8 years. This is an achievement, but our eyes are on the trophy.