Donghae: India showed their class by beating Asia’s number 1 ranked team China by 3 – 1 in the second match of the day. Malaysia defeated Japan 3-2 in a closely contested match and picked up three points, their first of the tournament.
Malaysia took a lead in the 1st minute of the game via Zafirah Aziz’s deflection into the net. Japanese restructured themselves and drew level before the 10-minute mark owing to a field goal by Yui Ishibashi. Malaysia took the lead again in the 19th minute when Fatin Skuri beautifully deflected the ball into the goal with inch-perfect control. Malaysia doubled their lead again with only one second to go before the half-time as Nuraslinda Said scored with the faintest of deflections into the goal. Minami Shimizu scored for Japan in the 34th minute to make it 3-2, but the fighting Malaysian side held their ground and secured their well-earned victory.
The second match of the tournament saw the number 1 Asian side take on the reigning champions, India. India dominated the game from the start and gained a 2 nil lead thanks to a brace from Vandana Katariya in the first quarter. Wen Dan reduced the deficit by scoring deep in the first quarter. The scores remained unchanged for the next two quarters in which India played a high pressure and high tempo game to close down any Chinese opportunity. In the 51st minute, India got a chance to increase their lead and Gurjit Kaur was up to the challenge as she converted from the penalty corner. India got another penalty corner after that but failed to make the most of the opportunity. Right at the stroke of full time, China, with an extra on-field player, received two penalty corners but also couldn’t make them count.
As it stands India hold the first place in the Pool with 6 points, winning both of their matches. The host nation, Korea are in second place with 4 points, while China are in third with 3 points. Malaysia and Japan have played an additional match (3 matches each) and are in 4th and 5th positions respectively. With two more round-robin matchdays to go, India look in firm control atop the table. China and Korea are main contenders for the second place in the finals, however, it is still to early to say. Stay tuned for the latest updates from Donghae Women’s Asian Champions Trophy!