Harpal Singh Bedi
New Delhi: Playing to a plan India outplayed Korea 3-0 to storm into the Semi Finals of the Hockey Women Junior World Cup at Potchefstroom (South Africa) on Friday.
For the winners who led 2-0 at half time, Mumtaz Khan (11′), Lalrindiki (15′) and Sangita Kumari (41′) were the goal scorers
India, got off to a strong start creating opening in Korea’s circle and in the 11th minute they were awarded a penalty corner. Salima Tete took the slap shot and on the rebound Mumtaz Khan with a superb deflection sent the ball home to make it 1-0.
Four minutes later India doubled the lead when Deepika created an opening and forward Lalrindiki who was poised in front of the goal mouth made no mistake in pushing the ball it past the Korean goalie Kim Eunji. (2-0)
Buyoed by these two quick goals India increased the preesure with potent attacking formations. They played with speed and discipline, worked on a good structure to find scoring opportunities.
Their third goal too was a result of good coordination , a fine assist by Beauty Dung Dung from the top of the circle, was well converted by Sangita Kumari (3-0) .
Earlier Mumtaz Khan, who was named Player of the Match, and Lalremsiami had created scoring opportunities but they could not convert them into goals.
India began the last quarter with a clear intent to extend their lead . Within the first 20 seconds of the quarter, an experienced Lalremsiami took a fine shot on goal but it was cleared by a defender.
India’s attack continued to frustrate the Korean defenders who made errors, thus resulting in their first green card of the match in the 51st minute. The final few minutes saw India find an opportunity to increase the lead when Lalrindiki assisted Sangita who fired away to the post but the shot went wide.
However, the dominance India showed with 28 circle penetrations and 15 shots on goal was enough to put them in the final four of the prestigious quadrennial event.
The last time the India made it to the last four of the Junior World Cup was in 2013 when they ended up on the podium with a Bronze medal.