The Indian women''s hockey team came up with an all-round performance to beat dangerous China 4-1 in their second Pool A match at the Asia Cup 2017 here at Kakamigahara Kawasaki Stadium on Monday.
It was goals by Gurjit Kaur (19''), Navjot Kaur (32''), Neha Goyal (49'') and Rani (58'') that ensured India kept up their winning momentum in the tournament. The team had previously beaten Singapore 10-0 in their opening match.
India were quick to get off the blocks as they won a penalty corner in the first 15 minutes of the match to put China on the back foot. Though the penalty corner attempt was well defended by China and ended the first quarter in a stalemate, the second quarter saw India''s dragflick specialist Gurjit Kaur convert a splendid goal to give India a 1-0 lead in the 19th minute.The following minutes saw both teams play cautiously.
While India rotated the ball with calm heads and made their way into the striking circle, China were strong on defence to deny India any success.
However, after the 10-minute break, India came back strongly to score a field goal in the 32nd minute through Navjot Kaur and double their lead. But a defensive error in the circle saw India concede a penalty corner in the 38th minute. China capitalized on this opportunity and narrowed the goal difference to 1-2 through Qiuxia Cui''s successful conversion. The final few minutes of the match was tense with China pushing hard to equalize but Indian defence stayed resolute. In the 49th minute, India won a crucial penalty corner and a clever variation saw Neha Goyal deflect the ball past China goalkeeper Jiao Ye and clinch the much-needed 3-1 lead for her team.
The last ten minute of the match saw both teams trade penas. While India won two penalty corner and China won a pen, both teams could not make use of the chance to score. However, the action didn''t end at that as India skipper Rani scored a sensational field goal in the 58th minute to fetch India a 4-1 lead and post a strong victory.
India will take on Malaysia in their last Pool A match tomorrow.(ANI)