Notwithstanding the controversy-ridden run-up to the event, Indian eves stunned higher-ranked China 2-1 to win the bronze medal in the inaugural Asian women's Champions Trophy hockey tournament at Busan, South Korea on Saturday.
The Surinder Kaur-led side showed great fighting spirit and came from a goal deficit to beat World No. 3 China in the bronze medal play-off.
Saba Anjum (24th minute) and Surinder (63rd) scored for India while China's lone goal-getter was Wang Mengyu (16th).
The Indians produced their best display of the tournament as they formed good attacking combinations among Rani Rampal, Saba, Surinder, Jasjeet Kaur Handa and Soundarya Yendala. The Indian defence also stood tall as the backline, consisting of Subhadra Pradhan, Binita Toppo and Joydeep Kaur, foiled numerous Chinese threats.
It was China which started on a positive note and soon broke the deadlock in the 16th minute through Mengyu, who found the back of the Indian net off a penalty corner.
However, the lead lasted just eight minutes as Saba drew parity in the 24th to see both the teams locked 1-1 in the breather.
The second period was a dull affair as, in spite of quite a few chances, both teams failed to score till the 67th minute.
Indian skipper Surinder led by example and scored the match-winner just three minutes from the hooter from a set piece.
Earlier, India, ranked 13th in the world, had lost all its three round-robin matches to Japan, China and host South Korea. — PTI