Muscat, Jan 29: The Indian women's hockey team signed off the Women's Asia Cup 2022 with a hard-fought 2-0 victory over China in the third/ fourth placing match here in Muscat on Friday. It was goals by Sharmila Devi (13') and Gurjit Kaur (19') that helped the Savita-led side end the continental tournament with the third-place finish.
Team India had disappointed after they were defeated by Korea in their semifinal defeat to Korea. However, they were back in the game as they scored two goals in the first two quarters and went into half time with a 2-0 lead against China. They, however, failed to score any more goals in the second half.
China, on the other hand, tried to look for an opportunity to reduce the deficit, and their efforts did get rewarded with a PC, but India Captain Savita pulled off a remarkable save to deny the Chinese. Minutes later, Navneet got an opportunity to add the third goal in the scoreline, but narrowly missed the target from the right side of the goalpost.
After the ten-minute half-time break, China, who were trailing 0-2, started the third quarter on the front foot and piled pressure on India. But, India's defence stood tall and denied China's each attempt at the goal.
The latter stage of the third quarter saw both teams fight for possession. China displayed a better attack and made inroads in India's circle. However, the Indian defence soaked the pressure and successfully defended the Chinese threat to keep the scoreline 2-0 at the end of the third quarter.
At the start of the fourth quarter, China won yet another Penalty Corner but failed to convert it. During the counterattack, Salima Tete did get the opportunity, but her reverse flick was blocked by the Chinese defence. China, who came all guns blazing, enjoyed the possession throughout the final quarter. They even earned three consecutive PC corners in the dying minutes, but a solid display by Indian defence helped the Indian eves secure third place in the Women's Asia Cup 2022.
After thrashing lowly Malaysia 9-0 in their opener, India suffered a 0-2 defeat against Asian Games champions Japan before beating Singapore 9-1 to qualify for the semifinals. But in the semifinals, some sloppy defending and poor penalty corner conversions put paid to India's hopes as they were beaten 2-3 by Korea.