Donghae City (Korea), May 16: Defending Champions India continued their winning performance as they beat World No.8 China 3-1 in their second round-robin match at the 5th Women's Asian Champions Trophy here at the Sunrise Stadium on Wednesday (May 16). India had earlier beaten Japan 4-1 in their opening match on Sunday (May 13).
It was experienced forward Vandana Katariya who starred in India's victory as she scored two goals in the 4th and 11th minute that gave a formidable lead early on for the defending champions while Gurjit Kaur (51') was the other goal scorer for India.
India were on attack mode right from the start. While a constructive defence against a strong Chinese squad was imperative, India showed zeal as they pushed for an early goal. It was impeccable team work between Lilima Minz, Navjot Kaur and Vandana that ensured India were put ahead of China by a goal in the 4th minute. An assist by Navjot to Lilima who used reverse shot to the post found a perfect deflection off Vandana's stick.
FT| The Indian Eves put on a composed showing in attack and defense to seal a challenging victory against China in their second game of the Women's Asian Champions Trophy 2018 in Donghae City, South Korea on 16th May.#IndiaKaGame pic.twitter.com/OSwYaTWfGM— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) May 16, 2018
Their second goal came off Udita's clever assist to Vandana who smashed it past the China goalkeeper giving India a comfortable 2-0 lead. Udita had taken the shot on goal herself but was obstructed by the Chinese goalkeeper, she picked up the rebound, but surrounded by Chinese defenders, she pushed the ball to Vandana who took her time to channel the ball into the goal post.
Having pushed China to the backfoot early on, the World No. 8 squad were desperate for a break through. Their moment of reckoning came in the 15th minute when Wen Dan converted a well-struck field goal to narrow the lead to 2-1 before going into the first break. China had earlier won four back-to-back PCs but could not breach Savita's fine goalkeeping.
While the second quarter saw India keep up the momentum and showed excellent defensive skills that kept China from equalizing, the third quarter saw Savita showcase excellent goalkeeping skills to keep China from converting their fifth PC.
India put up their attacking front yet again in the fourth quarter that fetched an important PC in the 51st minute. Gurjit Kaur, who is India's lone drag flick expert, made no mistake, swiftly striking the ball to the centre of the post taking India's lead to 3-1.
With clock ticking away, China looked to come back into the game but a goal remained elusive. Though they won a PC in the dying minutes of the match, Indian defenders steered clear to register their second successive win.
"It was important to hold our defence against a dangerous Chinese team who have the ability to comeback into the game at any point. Our aim today was to start well and get early lead to put pressure on them. It worked and we played to structure and plan. We had good variations to score and I am happy with the way we played. It was a complete team effort," stated Vandana Katariya who was awarded player-of-the-match for her double-goal effort.
India will next take on Malaysia on Thursday (May 17) in their third pool stage match at the 5th Women's Asian Champions Trophy.
The match starts at 11:00am IST
For live streaming of the match click here
Source: Hockey India