India overpower China 2-0 to finish 3rd  in the Women’s  Hockey Asia Cup  

Harpal Singh Bedi

Sushila in action

New Delhi: India huffed and puffed before overpowering spirited China 2-0 to finish third for a bronze medal at Women’s Asia Cup hockey in Muscat today. 

 Sharmila Devi (13′) and Gurjit Kaur (19′)  were the goal scorers that helped the Savita-led side to have a podium finish in this continental tournament .

  Indian girls had to wage a grim battle to down Chinese who played fast game and adopted hit and run tactics 

The match opened on a very fast note with players trying to make inroads in each other’s striking circle, displaying good attacking and defending skills.\

The teams created several goalscoring opportunities and even earned themselves Penalty Corners, but missed out on converting it. 

It was in the 14th minute, that India earned a breakthrough when on the rebound forward Sharmila pushed the ball in the goal after Gurjit’s powerful drag flick, which was stopped by the defence line .

Buoyed by this goal, Indians started the second quarter on an attacking note, and four minutes later they earned another Penalty Corner, which was duly converted by Gurjit. 

China,  tried to look for an opportunity to reduce the deficit, and they were rewarded with a PC, but goalkeeper Savita pulled off a remarkable save to deny the Chinese.  

Minutes later, Navneet got a chance to increase the lead but narrowly missed the target from the right side of the goalpost.

 After the ten-minute half-time break, China,  started  aggressively and piled pressure on India but failed to breach itl. 

The latter stage of the third quarter saw teams fighting it out for ball possession. China displayed a better attack and made inroads in rival’s circle. However, the Indian defence soaked the pressure and successfully   foiled all the attacks. 

In the last fourth quarter, China won yet another Penalty Corner but failed to convert it. During the counterattack, Salima Tete did get the opportunity, but her reverse flick was blocked by the  defence. 

China, who came all guns blazing, enjoyed the possession throughout the final quarter. and earned three consecutive PC corners in the dying minutes, but a solid display by the defenders helped India secure third place .

HSB

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