Ranchi, October 27: Hosts India made a splendid start in the Jharkhand Women’s Asian Champions Trophy 2023 at the Morabadi Astroturf Hockey Stadium here on Friday, defeating Thailand 7-1, thanks to Sangita Kumari’s brilliant hat-trick. Besides India, Japan also triumphed over Malaysia 3-0, and Korea defeated China 1-0 in the opening matches.
Indian team took an early lead in the match, scoring two goals within the first quarter. Monica found the net in the seventh minute, followed by Salima Tete’s goal in the 15th minute, giving India a 2-0 lead. Thailand managed to score their first goal in the 22nd minute through Samonso Supansa’s penalty corner. However, India extended their lead to 3-1 in the 29th minute with Sangita Kumari’s field goal.
In the third quarter, India added another goal in the 40th minute, taking their lead to 4-1 against Thailand. Sangita Kumari continued her exceptional performance, completing her hat-trick by scoring two more goals in the 45th minute, bringing India’s lead to 6-1. In the final few minutes, India intensified their attack and extended their lead to 7-1 against Thailand with Lalremsiami’s field goal in the 52nd minute.
In the earlier matches, Japan defeated Malaysia 3-0, with Okawa Rika scoring a penalty in the 13th minute, Mai Toriyama in the 43rd minute, and Kobayakawa Shiho converting a penalty in the 54th minute. Korea secured a victory against China with a single goal scored by An Sujin in the 18th minute of the second quarter.
Six teams are participating in this tournament, including hosts India, China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, and Thailand. The matches are being played on a round-robin league basis. All six teams will compete against each other, and the top 4 teams will advance to the semifinals. India is aiming for the title for the first time since 2016, having settled for silver medals in 2013 and 2018 after losing in the finals.