Wednesday, February 21, 2024

India eves storm into Asian Champions Trophy final


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Ranchi, Nov 4: Unbeaten India continued their sparkling form, defeating Asian Games silver medallist South Korea 2-0 to enter the final of the women’s Asian Champions Trophy hockey tournament here on Saturday.
The Indians, who thrashed Korea 5-0 in their final round-robin match, scored through Salima Tete (11th minute0 and Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke (19th) to emerge winners.
Asian Games bronze medallist India will take on Japan in the final on Sunday. The Japanese eked out a narrow 2-1 win over Asian Games champions China 2-1 in the first semifinal.
Kana Urata (34th minute) and Miyu Suzuki (44th) scored for Japan, while China’s lone strike came from the stick of Tiantian Luo (11th).
In the second semifinal later in the day, the Indians started from where they left and pressed hard on the Japanese goal from the onset with relentless attacks.
India’s ploy resulted in successive penalty corners in the third minute of the first quarter but the Japanese defence stood tall with goalkeeper Kim Eunji making a good save to deny Deepika from the second attempt.
India’s relentless pressure finally tasted success in the 11th minute when Salima gave the lead after being set up by Udita from a counter-attack to end the first quarter with a slender one goal advantage.
The Indians started with the same intensity in the second quarter and doubled their lead four minutes later from a penalty corner.
Vaishnavi scored from a rebound from close range with a reverse flick after Deep Grace Ekka’s flick was saved by the Korean goalkeeper.
Trailing by two goals, the Koreans looked more positive in the third quarter and made some attacking moves into the Indian citadel but were not able to realise them into goals. (PTI)


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