Bangkok (22 Dec, 2016): China’s dream of capturing the Women Under-18 Asia Cup was magnificently realized with a 4-2 victory over defending champions Japan in the final at the National Hockey Training Centre in Bangkok on Thursday.
It was the Chinese players’ maiden triumph in the event after their 2011 failure to capture the title when they lost to the Japanese in the final at the same venue. India won the inaugural 2001 edition and Korea emerged champions in the second edition held eight years later.
Yu Anhui gave China an early lead with a 10th minute field goal and Zou Meirong doubled the advantage in the 37th minute while Gu Yangyan made it 3-0 in a quick counter attack in the same period before Zou scored her second goal and China’s fourth in the 54th minute.
The Japanese, however, struck back through Mitu Suzuki’s penalty corner in the 62nd minute and Ayana Tamura reduced the deficit in the 67th minute via a field goal.
Earlier in the semi-finals played on Wednesday, Japan ended India’s gallant run here with a 4-2 win in penalty shoot-out after the two teams were locked at 1-1 after full time and China also closed the door on Korea with a 3-2 victory in shoot-out following a 1-1 draw in regulation time.
The Indians edged South Korea 3-0 for the bronze medal; Malaysia outclassed Thailand 8-0 to finish fifth while Chinese Taipei came in seventh after disposing Singapore 4-1 on Wednesday.
Sangita Kumari scored in the 55th and 58th minutes after Ritu had put India ahead in the 45th minute in this bronze-medal play-off. The two teams played out a scoreless first half, with India content with dropping deep and relying on the counter to create opportunities.
The Koreans earned several penalty corners but failed to convert from any as the Indian defense closed them down perfectly.
India took the lead minutes after the break as Ritu scored off a penalty corner. Minutes later an impressive combination of play between Lalremsiami and Sangita saw the latter’s shot stopped on the line illegally and India was awarded a penalty stroke. But Manpreet Kaur’s attempt to convert the stroke was denied by South Korean goalkeeper Lee Da Bom.
In the 55th minute, the duo combined again, Lalremsiami intercepting a Korean pass and showing great vision as she relayed the ballt through to Sangita, who maneuvered way past two defenders to score.
The third goal came off a similar route as Sangita score her second of the game in the 58th minute. From there on, India held firm control and held off a late Korean penalty corner to complete a deserved victory.
As for the Malaysians, Nur Zafirah Aziz slammed four goals whilst Qasidah Najwa Muhammad Halimi, Nur Syuhada Suhaimi, Nur Adriana Mohd Nor Nawawi and Nuramirah Shakirah Zulkifli scored one piece against the Thais in the fifth-sixth playoff match.