After the two teams were tied at 4-4 in the shoot-out, India’s Rani gave the nation both relief and joy after scoring the first sudden death while China missed it.
Indian Women’s Hockey team has clinched the Asia Cup for the second time after beating an unpredictable China in a thrilling match that went into the shoot-out. The final ended in a stalemate with both India and China tied at 1-1. Indian team produced a brilliant display of nerves in the shoot-out to defeat China 5-4 in Japan’s Kakamigahara. With this victory, Indian Women’s Hockey team has booked their berth in the FIH Hockey World Cup to be held next year.
Navjot gave India the lead in the 25th minute before Tiantain Luo produced the equaliser in the 47th minute. After the two teams were tied 1-1 in the regulation time and 4-4 in the shoot-out, India’s Rani Rampal gave the nation great joy after scoring the first sudden death goal while China missed it.
Earlier, India had defeated Japan in the semi-final 4-2 to reach final for the second time since 2004. Goals from Gurjit Kaur and Navjot Kaur guided Indian team to their fourth Asia Cup final. Ironically China beat India 5-3 in 2009 to clinch the Asia Cup while India finished runners-up in 1999 and 2009 respectively. In the semis, Gurjit who has been in a cracking form since the beginning of the tournament produced the first lead converting a penalty corner in the seventh minute of the game. Gurjit, then again went on to score her second in quick succession to provide India with a 2-0 lead. While Japan did not hold back and almost made a comeback, Navjot’s goal secured India’s seat in the final.
India before entering the knockout stage had won all their group stage games and even beat China 4-1 in one of the group matches. Also, exactly a year ago, India had beaten China in the final of Asia Champions Trophy.