Defending Champions, the Indian Women’s Hockey team lost to hosts South Korea 0-1 in the final match of the fifth Women’s Asian Champions Trophy played in South Korea.
Women’s Hockey Team – As the match happened…
India’s defense was tested in the early stages of the match as South Korea started the game well, winning possession in the midfield and putting pressure on the Indian defense.
However, India defended themselves well as they tried to attack the hosts on the counter and it was a well-played first quarter for both the teams.
The teams ended the first quarter with no goal as neither team managed to score, but South Korea had the better chances in the first period. In the second quarter, the hosts put constant pressure on India’s women’s hockey team as they won three penalty corners in the span of two minutes, but goalkeeper Savita with some good reflexes made sure that she denied the hosts of taking an important lead. It was a phase in the match where South Korea dominated as they looked for an opening and they succeeded in the 24th minute when they caught India’s defense on the counter-attack.
Mi Hyun Park made a darting run towards the baseline on the right flank and passed the ball across the Indian goal, which was deflected into the back of the net by Youngsil Lee to give her team the lead. India struggled to build momentum after going behind as the hosts took their one-goal lead into the half-time break. The responsibility was on the Indian team to find the equalizer as they looked to defend their crown against the hosts.
However, South Korea made sure that they did not let the Indian attackers find space inside their striking circle.
The hosts sat back in their own half for most of the match and looked to hit India on the counter which saw the Koreans find another chance in the 43rd minute when Mi Hyun Park found herself one-on-one with an Indian defender inside the striking circle, but her shot was saved by Savita.
Women’s Hockey Team fightback
Korea had another chance to extend their lead in the 44th minute as they won their fourth penalty corner of the match, but Savita’s heroics continued as she dodged away the shot to keep India in the match.
It was down to the Indian team to take the initiative in the last quarter as Korea sat deep in their own half and invited India to play long balls.
It was a move that favored the Koreans as they defended their side well, and did not allow the Indian attackers to find possession in the final third of the pitch. It was a tense final few minutes for both the sides as India looked to score the equalizer but Korea had their eyes set on the title.
Owing to the need of a goal, India replaced their goalkeeper Savita with an outfield player and tried to up their ante, but South Korea’s man-marking in midfield made sure that they kept their lead intact as India failed to create a goal-scoring opportunity in the latter stages of the match.
The win for South Korea saw them lift the title for the third time after having won in the 2010 and 2011 editions of the tournaments.
Whereas, India finished as runner-up for the second time after having lost in the final of the 2013 edition to Japan.
The Player of the match:
It was a very tense match indeed, as Indian team player Vandana Katariya being declared as the player of the tournament as she had given a tough competition with her strong performance in the attacking side.
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