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Indian women beat Japan 4-2 to reach Asia Cup hockey final

india-vs-japan

Kakamigahara (Japan), Nov 3: India set their date with China in the final of the 9th women’s Asia Cup after beating hosts Japan 4-2 in the semi-final here on Friday.

The Indian eves rode on a brace from Gurjit Kaur and field goals from Navjot Kaur and Lalremsiami to advance to a fourth Asia Cup final. India won the title in 2004 and finished runners-up in 1999 and 2009.

Gurjit gave India a perfect start, successfully converting a penalty corner in the seventh minute before Navjot’s field goal in the ninth minute made it 2-0 for the tourists.

In the same minute, Gurjit inflated India’s lead to 3-0 with a brilliant field goal.

But Japan was no pushover. It managed to dominate the Indians in the second quarter and reduced the deficit to 2-3 through field goals from Shiho Tsujii (17′) and Yui Ishibashi (28′).

The third quarter saw Lalremsiami score her first goal of the tournament to put India ahead 4-2, and the defenders did well to keep the Japanese at bay thereon.

India entered the knockout stage of the tournament following big wins over Singapore 10-0, China 4-1 and Malaysia 2-0 to top their pool, and on Thursday defeated Kazakhstan 7-1 in the quarter-final.

On Sunday, India will aim to avenge their 3-5 loss to China in 2009 as the winner of this year’s edition will qualify for the 2018 World Cup in England.

IANS

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