Where four definitive matches would be defined from the 7/8th Place to the expected final. It was a day with many close results, living adrenaline from the first game to the last, a day full of field hockey that gave us the podium and qualification to the FIH Junior World Cup 2023, in Santiago, Chile.
HONG KONG CHINA 0 VS CHINESE TAIPEI 2 (7/8th Place)
The first match of the day was between Hong Kong China and Chinese Taipei, both teams finished fourth in their respective group standings. Chinese Taipei won one of the four matches they played, and Hong Kong China drew one and lost the other three.
Two teams that were looking to avoid being in eighth place and to obtain the most positive result possible faced each other.
It was LIU Kuo-Chien’s team who scored the first goal of the match in the 24th minute with a penalty corner goal by HUANG Yi-Chun to put the blue and blue team in the lead. HUANG Yu-Ting was the player who made it 2-0 in the 48th minute while the red team was losing chances on goal, the Chinese Taipei players fought to reach the end of the match with the score at 0 and so it was.
Hong Kong China took the eighth place, while Chinese Taipei took the seventh place of that edition.
The best player of the match was Lai Ya Han number 9 who had a great tournament.
MALAYSIA 7 VS KAZAKHSTAN 0 (5/6th Place)
The second match of the day featured Malaysia and Kazakhstan. Both finished third in their respective groups, both were able to win 2 matches and lost 2 matches.
With extremely evenly matched teams, the experience of a national team like Malaysia weighed more in a decisive match like today.
The national junior women’s hockey squad ended their Women’s Junior Asia Cup 2023 campaign in the top five after mauling Kazakhstan 7-0 in the fifth and sixth place classification match in Kakamigahara, Japan today.
In the clash at the Kawasaki Heavy Industries Hockey Stadium, Azmyra Mia Sofea Azhairy, who emerged as the best player of the match, opened the scoring in the 14th minute after cleverly finishing a pass from teammate Nurul Fatin Fatiah Azman.
The Young Tigress coached by Lailin Abu Hassan got on to “easy street” after Dian Nursyakira Najwa Al-Wadqa Nazeri converted a penalty corner in the 18th minute followed by a field goal by Nur Shamine Azureen Mohammed Badusha in the 28th minute for the national team to lead 3-0 in the first half.
Continuing into the second half, Malaysia showed no mercy when they added a fourth goal because of Dian Nursyakira’s penalty corner finish in the 36th minute before Azmyra Mia scored the fifth goal through a field goal a minute before the end of the third quarter.
Nur Shamine and Siti Nur Irdina Mohd Nor added to the opponents’ misery after scoring field goals in the 53rd and 55th minutes respectively, thus sealing the team’s stylish victory.
“Throughout this tournament, the players showed a good performance even though most of them were playing on the highest international stage for the first time but displayed a high determination to reach the best level of play.”
On the side of the team coached by BEIBITOV Nurzhan, they take with them a wonderful experience and a very good result in their second appearance in the eight editions that have already taken place so far.
JAPAN 2 VS CHINA 1 (3/4th Place)
The match for third and fourth place was played between the local and tournament host Japan and the effective team from China.
Both shared Pool B during the group stage and had faced each other during that round with the Chinese team winning by the minimum of 1-0.
Both KOBAYASHI Kazunori and YANG Huiping already knew their opponents, they had had the chance to meet in the past and knew exactly what they had to do to win this match.
In a match with a prominent level of adrenaline and nervousness, the local team with their people present managed to score in the 17th minute through WAKASA Mai who would score her eighth goal in this important match. The girls in yellow did not want to be left behind and in the 27th minute, which is to say 10 minutes later HUANG Siting tied the match for the girls in yellow and to believe in the possibility of turning the result around.
In a back-and-forth match, with many unforced errors and impeccable performances from the goalkeepers, KITAYAMA Mahiro in the 47th minute took advantage of a penalty corner for the red and gave the 2-1 victory to her team that would take the third place of this new edition of the Women’s Junior Asia Cup, at home.
The best player of the match was Japan’s KITAYAMA Mahiro, who scored in the first and last match of the tournament.
INDIA 2 VS KOREA 1 (FINAL)
The Indian hockey team clinched the Women’s Junior Asia Cup 2023 title in Kakamigahara, Japan, with a 2-1 win over the Republic of Korea in the final on Sunday.
This is the first time India have won the Women’s Junior Asia Cup. India had already secured a spot in the FIH Women’s Junior World Cup 2023 in Chile. Japan beat China 2-1 to become the third team to qualify for the World Cup scheduled this year.
For India, Annu (21′) and Neelam (40’) were on target while Seoyeon Park (24’) scored the solitary goal for Korea.
India started the game on an attacking note by winning a penalty corner in the opening minute of the game, but they failed to capitalize on it. However, Korea resorted to counterattacks and controlled the possession. Despite both teams playing attacking hockey, the first quarter ended goalless.
Korea stuck to their approach in the second quarter and pushed India on the back foot. However, India took the lead through Annu who converted via a penalty stroke.
India’s lead, however, did not last long as Seoyeon Park scored an equalizer for Korea via a field goal. The second quarter did not witness any more goals as both teams went into the half-time break with the scores levelled at 1-1.
The second half of the match started with Korea maintaining possession while the Indian team switched to counter-attacks and it paid off as Neelam converted a penalty corner to put India in front as the third quarter ended with the score 2-1 in favor of the Indian team.
To protect their lead, India shifted their focus on defending and controlled the tempo of the game by keeping possession in the fourth quarter. On the other hand, Korea made forced errors and misdirected passes in their desperation to find an equalizer. India stood strong and stuck to their strategy to win the title clash 2-1.
Earlier this month, India also won the Men’s Junior Asia Cup hockey tournament after beating arch-rivals Pakistan in the final.
With these results, the champion of the Eighth edition of the Women’s Junior Asia Cup 2023 in Kakamigahara, Japan was the talented team of India with the first place for the first time in its history, while the second place went to Korea who already won it four times in the past. The third place went to Japan, which has not yet won the trophy, and the fourth place went to China, which has lifted the trophy three times in the past.
Fifth and sixth place went to Malaysia and Kazakhstan respectively, while seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth places went to Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong China, Uzbekistan, and Indonesia, respectively.