Hockey

Asian Games hockey: Indian women sign off with bronze

Indian players celebrate their victory over Japan during their women's bronze medal hockey match at the 17th Asian Games in Incheon on Wednesday.

Indian players celebrate their victory over Japan during their women's bronze medal hockey match at the 17th Asian Games in Incheon on Wednesday.  

The gold medal went to Korea amidst scenes of wild celebration after its 1-0 victory over the defending champion China

With an impressive display that underscored the importance of teamwork, India wrested the bronze medal, won last in 2006 at Doha, in the women’s competition here today.

The 2-1 result over Japan eminently merits a podium finish, the goal that the team had set for itself.

Dictating the pace and trend, the Indians showed flair, fluency and appreciable finish. The link between the mid-field and the frontline looked solid what with the skipper Ritu Rani setting up almost all the moves from the right. The usually energetic Rani gave a touch of vibrancy to the attack. Deepika as centre half was confidence personified in her tackles and sent across a few incisive passes.

What put India in command was the penalty corner goal by Jaspreet Kaur after the goalless first quarter. Jaspreet’s clever execution stunned the Japanese defence. With the confidence gained, the Indians held on gamely and could have gone ahead in the third quarter but Poonam, Rani after receiving a clever pass from Rani shot the ball over.

Japan came back into the match in the third quarter when Akhane Sibata scored from a goalmouth scrimmage. But the lead proved brief with India retaliating. Again Rani did the spadework and set up nice angle for Vandana Kataria to do the rest.

It was not until the last quarter that Japan could force a penalty corner. Two surfaced in a space of two minutes but the defenders led by Jaspreet stood the pressure well.

Neil Hawgood was delighted that the work put in as coach for two and half years had borne fruit. He commended the players for maintaining the level of fitness and skill to take strong rivals like China and Korea.

The gold medal went to Korea amidst scenes of wild celebration after its 1-0 victory over the defending champion China. It had taken 16 years for the Koreans to take back the gold. The last triumph was at Bangkok in 1998.

The fight for the title was close as the margin points out, but the Koreans enjoyed the territorial advantage. The match winner emerged five minutes before the end of the third quarter. Darae Kim dodged two defenders and completed. Korea’s playmaker was the skipper Kim Jongeun.

The Chinese attack came in fits and starts with the quick moving Li Lingxia troubling the rival defenders.

The results: (women)

(5-6) Malaysia 8 (Rashid Nuraini Binti 3, Halim Norhaskin Binti, Sumantri Norzain Binti, Hashim Norbaini, Adwiya Binti, Sylvester Fazila) beat Kazakhstan 0

(3-4) India 2 (Jaspreet Kaur, Vandana Kataria) beat Japan 1.

Final: South Korea 1(Darae Kim) beat China 0

Final placings: 1.South Korea, 2.China, 3.India, 4.Japan, 5.Malaysia, 6.Kazakhstan, 7.Thailand, 8.Hong Kong-China.

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Printable version | Jul 14, 2020 4:54:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/hockey/incheon-asian-games-indian-women-beat-japan-21-win-bronze-in-asiad-hockey/article6465116.ece

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