Indian eves win bronze in Asia Cup hockey
Kuala Lumpur: Indian eves at least has something to cheer about after missing out on a berth in next year`s World Cup as they defeated China via penalty shootout to clinch the bronze medal in the eighth women`s Asia Cup hockey tournament on Friday.
India, who needed to win the tournament to qualify for next year`s World Cup to be held at
The Hague, Netherlands, edged past China 3-2 in the shootout after both the teams were locked 2-2 at the regulation time.
By virtue of this win, the Indians managed to avenge their 0-1 defeat to the Chinese in the pool stages of the tournament.
India dominated proceedings in the first half and scored two field goals through Anuradha Devi Thokchom (16th minute) and Vandana Katariya (31st) to go into the breather with a comfortable 2-0 lead.
The Indian girls managed to hold on to their lead after the lemon break and denied any openings to the nimble-footed Chinese till the 51st minute.
China pulled one back in the 51st minute through Yan Yan`s field goal to liven up the match.
The Indians had themselves to blame as some sloppy defending towards the end allowed China to draw parity when Wu Mengrong scored the equaliser in the 64th minute.
Thereafter, both the teams played cautiously in the last six minutes to take the encounter into shootout.
In the shootout, the Indians came out on top, converting three of their chances as against two by the Chinese girls.
Meanwhile, Japan stunned defending champions Korea 2-1 in the final to win the Asia Cup and secure a place in next year`s World Cup.