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Women’s Asia Cup Hockey 2017: India beat China 5-4 to clinch the title

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Japan, Nov 5: India created history by defeating China 5-4 in finals of Women’s Asia Cup Hockey to clinch the title on Sunday. 

After the 1-1 tie in the regulation time the game went to shoot outs where India clinched the issue.

India win Asia Cup after a gap of 13 years. This was the Indian women’s second Asia Cup title. They had won their last continental title in 2004.

With this, India also qualified for 2018 World Cup as Continental Champions.

It was skipper Rani who scored the winning goal for India while Savita made a great save in sudden death to ensure India the 5-4 score in the penalty shootout.

Earlier, it was Navjot Kaur who scored India’s lone goal in the 25th minute. It was in 2004 when the Indian Women’s Team lifted the Asia Cup after beating Japan 1-0 in the final.

It was advantage China right at the start as a stick check in the circle saw India concede a penalty corner in only the second minute of the game.

However, Savita was at her usual best to pad it away while an alert Deep Grace cleared the ball.

Soon after, the Indian forwards launched a swift attack with Navneet Kaur and Vandana working in tandem to find space in the Chinese defence but an attentive Wang Na averted the danger.

China, meanwhile, won their second penalty corner but Savita was spot on yet again to pad away Meiyu Liang’s flick.

With the first quarter ending in a stalemate, India came back looking determined to find a breakthrough.

The Indian forwards kept the pressure on China as they made brave forays into the striking circle.

Navjot Kaur came close to converting a field goal in the 17th minute but her diving effort was blocked even as skipper Rani made a quick attempt to find a deflection.

It was not until the 25th minute when India found its first breakthrough when Navneet Kaur and Rani played give-and-take before penetrating the circle only to assist Navjot who took a clear shot on goal.

It was a much-needed 1-0 lead for India. Though China launched a counter attack soon after, the Indian defenders were up to the task in denying them success.

India began the third quarter rather positively as they persisted with an aggressive attack.

They dominated the ball possession with accurate passing, rotating the ball and testing China’s patience. Neha Goyal and Lilima Minz showcased good dribbling skills to steer past the Chinese defenders but a second goal was not to come by even as the clock ticked away to the third hooter.

On China’s part, they stayed disciplined in their defence to deny India a chance to score through a penalty corner.

The final quarter was tense as China won a penalty corner through a successful video referral in the 47th minute.

Tiantian Luo kept low as she improvised from the injection to find the right corner of the post, scoring a sensational equaliser for China.

The following minutes saw both teams play at par with each other not allowing either of them to stay in control.

With nine minutes left for the final hooter, India upped their attack desperately attempting to find a gap in the 15-yard mark but the Chinese defenders were resolute in not allowing any room for error.

Meanwhile, China won their fourth penalty corner of the match with a little less than three minutes to go for the final whistle.

But it was brilliantly saved by rusher Sunita Lakra and almost immediately, India launched a counter attack but only to send the ball wide off the target and complete the full-time in a stalemate resulting in a shootout.

In the penalty shootout Rani scored twice while Monica, Lilima Minz and Navjot scored a goal each to ensure India reclaimed the Asia Cup title after 13 years.

Savita was adjudged Goalkeeper of the Tournament while Monica won the Woman of the Match award.

WeForNews Bureau

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2nd Test: India 172/3 at stumps, trail by 154 runs vs Australia

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Perth, Dec 15: India were 172/3 at stumps on the second day of the second Test against Australia at the Perth stadium here on Saturday.

India skipper Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane were batting on 82 and 51 runs respectively when the day ended.

The visiting side still trail by 154 runs against Australia’s first innings total of 326. Resuming the second day at 277/6, the Aussies were all out for 326 shortly before lunch.

Brief Scores: India (First Innings): 172/3 (Virat Kohli 82 batting, Ajinkya Rahane 51 batting) vs Australia (First Innings): 326 (Marcus Harris 70; Ishant Sharma 4/41).

IANS

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India’s Sindhu defeats Thailand’s Intanon, storms into final

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P.V. Sindhu (File Photo)

Guangzhou (China), Dec 15: Indian shuttler P.V. Sindhu defeated former world champion Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand in straight games in their women’s singles semi-final at the 2018 BWF World Tour Finals here on Saturday.

The 23-year-old Olympic silver medallist, who has not lost to World No.8 Intanon in the last two years, breezed into the final after quashing her Thai opponent 21-16, 25-23 in 54 minutes, reports Efe.

The world number six from Hyderabad – who entered the semi-finals after defeating Beiwen Zhang of the US 21-9, 21-15 on Friday – dominated the first game, winning it in 20 minutes after grabbing an initial 6-4 lead.

Intanon bounced back in the second game but Sindhu did not lose nerve and won it in a nail-biting finish to wrap up the match.

Sindhu will now play against Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara in the final on Sunday.

IANS

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PV Sindhu in semis of BWF World Tour Finals

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Guangzhou (China), Dec 14: Star Indian shuttler P.V. Sindhu entered the semi-finals of the BWF World Tour Finals, defeating Beiwen Zhand of US in a lop-sided women’s singles match here on Friday.

The Rio Olympic silver medallist just took 35 minutes to outplay her opponent 21-9, 21-15.

Right from the start, Sindhu dominated the proceedings and easily overpowered her opponent to advance.

In men’s singles match, Sameer Verma defeated Kantaphon Wangcharoen of Thailand 21-9, 21-18 to enter the knock-out stage.

The 45-minute match saw Sameer at his best of abilities in the first game. In the second game the Indian shuttler struggled but was proved better towards the end to bag the issue.

IANS

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