SINGAPORE: The Indian women hockey team lifted its maiden Asian Champions Trophy after Deepika Thakur hit in the last moment to give her team an exciting 2-1 win over China in the final on Saturday.
Deepika slotted the rebound in from a penalty corner in the 60th min of the game to give her team a noteworthy win.
Prior, Deep Grace Ekka converted a penalty corner to take India into the lead in the 13th min before China adjusted in the 44th min through a field goal from Zhong Mengling.
The welcome result for the Indian women team comes days after men beat Pakistan to regain the Asian Champions Trophy in Kuantan, Malaysia.
India’s best finish in the Women Asian Champions Trophy came in the last release in 2013 when it completed runner-up to Japan. It had completed third in the inaugural release in 2010.
Having learnt from their team stage experience, India declined to give China a chance to take early control of the ball, shutting them down high up the pitch, regularly blocking their passes and continually putting weight by chasing in packs.
When in control, the Indian eves held their nerve and passed the ball around conveniently to enter China’s circle.
This somewhat extraordinary way to deal with their game contrasted with Friday helped them acquire India’s first PC of the game in the 13th min.
An inventive set-piece saw Deep superbly send the ball past the Chinese keeper for the early lead.
Going into the second quarter, India kept up the weight by playing restrained hockey, keeping them quiet just to deny the Chinese an opportunity to equalize.
In any case, the third quarter saw China’s Mengling Zhong enter the Indian circle to score a fast field goal. However, the Indian eves were persistent and were playing the sort of hockey that had China on the backfoot.
China figured out how to acquire their first PC of the match in the third quarter yet failed to convert, sending the ball way off the baseline.
Despite the fact that fortunes changed hands incrementally, neither one of the teams dropped the power going into the fourth quarter. For India, it was Rani who was acting like a lynchpin, trying to penetrate the Chinese D to get a PC and she found a possibility with minutes left before the last hooter went off.
It was a do-or-die on circumstance for India and it was their most obvious opportunity to score. Deepika, the most highest goal scorer of the competition took the onus on to herself to convert an electrifying goal in only 30 seconds to go for the last hooter, sending the Indian supports into blasts of here’s to you.
For the team victory, Hockey India on Saturday likewise declared a money prize of Rs 2 lakh each for the players and Coach Neil Hawgood.
Other than this, the federation additionally announced Rs 1 lakh for the other support staff of the team. A cash award for Rs 1 lakh was announced for Deepika, the most highest scorer of the hockey tournament.