Bangkok: Indian women settled for silver at the 6th Junior Women`s Asia Cup hockey championship after China beat them 5-2 in the final, despite losers taking 2-0 lead.
Indian girls played superbly to lead the Chinese 2-0 after 25 minutes when a 10-minute interruption because of rain hampered their rhythm.
Deep Grace Ekka scored off a seventh minute penalty stroke while skipper and midfielder Ritu Rani scored a field goal four minutes later. India had the better of the exchanges for another quarter-hour before a spell of rain forced play to be suspended.
Five minutes after play resumed Na Wang scored a field goal to reduce the margin and turn the tide. She scored off a penalty corner two minutes into the second half to restore parity. Weija Hao struck two goals in three minutes from the 43rd minute to give China a 4-2 lead.
Jiaqi Li completed the tally in the 48th minute. Though India had done well to beat Japan 2-1 in the semifinal, it could be said that India played its best hockey in the tournament in the first 25 minutes of the final.
The Indian team has qualified for the Junior Women`s World Cup to be held next year.