Singapore (4 Oct, 2016): China maintained its world ranking performance with a 3-2 win over India while defending champions Japan defeated Korea by the same margin in the last of round-robin league matches of the 2016 Women Asian Champions Trophy at the Sengkang Hockey Stadium today.
However, both China, ranked 8th in the FIH Rankings, and the 12th ranked India, advanced to Saturday’s final. It will be China’s first final appearance in the final of the Asian Champions Trophy and India’s second since the tournament was first held in Busan, Korea in 2010.
The Indian eves won bronze in 2010 but lost 1-0 to Japan in the 2013 final – the last time the tournament was held while China’s best showing was fourth placing in 2010 and 2013 in Kakamighara, Japan.
The Chinese topped the standings with nine points – two ahead of India and Japan who shared seven equal points but the Indians hold a two-goal advantage over the 9th ranked Japanese. Korea finished third with three points in the bag and Malaysian fifth and last despite defeating Japan 2-0.
The Japanese and Koreans will battle for the bronze medal on Saturday.
Yukari Mano (15th, penalty corner), Ayaka Nishimura (38th, penalty corner) and Yuri Nagai (50th, FG) scored for Japan while Cheon Seul Ki (20th, penalty corner) and Park Miyun (44th, penalty corner) replied for world No 9 Korea.
India came back from two goals down to tie the match 2-2 but China managed to score the winning goal with just two minutes remaining. It was China who started the second half strong and scored their first goal in the 35th minute through Yang Chen’s impressive field goal.
China took a two-goal lead in the fourth quarter, which saw intense moments, when Qiu Guo made her way into India’s territory and sent a quick one past India’s keeper Rajani in the 51st minute. But the Indians rallied back with two consecutive goals in the final few minutes of the last quarter.
It was Poonam Rani’s quick reaction that helped India convert a penalty corner in the 52nd minute. Then, skipper Vandana Kataria sent a powerful ball past the Chinese custodian in the 55th minute to equalise.
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