India beat Japan 4-0 in the final to win the Women’s Asian Champions Trophy 2023 title at the Marang Gomke Jaipal Singh Astroturf Hockey Stadium in Ranchi, Jharkhand on Sunday.
Sangita Kumari (17’), Neha (46’), Lalremsiami (57’) and Vandana Katariya (60’) scored the goals to lead the Indian women’s hockey team to a victory.
This was India’s second Women’s Asian Champions Trophy hockey title with the first coming back in 2016.
After a 45-minute delayed start, the opening quarter was a closely-contested affair with India enjoying the bulk of the possession while defending champions Japan looked for counter-attacking opportunities. Yuri Nagai had a good opportunity to give the away team the early lead but was thwarted by Indian goalkeeper Savita Punia’s timely interception.
Deepika, meanwhile, came close for India, world No. 6 in the current women’s hockey rankings.The Indian forward, however, delayed her shot a little too much and missed the target.
World No. 11 Japan looked compact defensively in the opening quarter but shortly after the second quarter started, Sangita Kumari struck to give India the much-needed lead. The local girl received the ball in space, took a couple of touches before finding a diving finish.
A goal behind, Japan upped the ante and seemed to have equalised through Shiho Kobayakawa. However, a video review showed that the ball had touched the Japanese player’s hand during the move and the goal was chalked off.
Japan won a succession of penalty corners towards the end of the first-half but Savita Punia and the Indian defence combined well to preserve India’s lead going into the break.
After a goalless third quarter, India finally found their much-needed second goal in the third quarter. A well-worked penalty corner was finished off by Neha.
Japan could have pulled a goal back shortly after through a penalty stroke but Savita Punia came up trumps again and guessed it right to keep out Kana Urata’s strike.
Lalremsiami and Vandana Katariya scored two late goals after that to round off the victory for India.
Source : Olympics