India Defeats Reigning Champions Japan 2-1 To Claim Bronze In Women’s Hockey At The Asian Games
The Indian women’s hockey team, who entered the competition as the favourites, overcame a shocking semifinal defeat to defeat the defending champions Japan 2-1 and win the bronze medal at the Asian Games on Saturday.
The seventh-ranked Indians were the favourites to win the gold in this event, but one poor performance cost them everything as the hosts China destroyed them 4-0 in the semifinal on Thursday.
Thus, the Indian ladies avenged their 0-1 loss to Japan in the previous Games in Jakarta in 2018. But the Savita Punia-led team overcame the setback and played superb hockey to win its fourth bronze medal and seventh overall at the Asian Games.
India took the lead in the fifth minute with a penalty shot by Deepika, while Japan tied the score in the 30th minute on a Yuri Nagai penalty corner.
A set piece that went wrong in the 50th minute gave India the winning goal, assisted by Sushila Chanu, a rare goal scorer. India got out to a strong start and immediately went on the attack.
The Indians applied intense pressure, and in the fifth minute Deepika successfully converted a penalty kick to score their first goal. India persisted in pressing aggressively and won a penalty corner but was unable to take advantage of the situation. The Indians were also in danger from the Japanese, but the Savita-led team was up to the challenge.
In the second quarter, both teams engaged in a midfield battle that produced a few circle entries on each side but no points. At the stroke of halftime, Nagai, who converted a penalty corner, brought Japan even.
There was virtually any difference between the two sides once the ends were switched. India and Japan were fighting it out in the middle of the pitch, occasionally breaking into each other’s circle.