Navneet Kaur’s brace helped India to secure a 3-1 win over Japan in the Hockey World Cup on Wednesday. Deep Grace Ekka scored the other goal while Yu Asai scored the only one for the Japanese women.
This was the Indian team’s final match as they ended the campaign in a disappointing ninth position.
The match was evenly poised in the first five minutes but both teams failed to find the back of the board. India got their first major chance soon after but Vandana Katariya’s close range effort was denied by Japan’s goalkeeper, Eika Nakamura. Both teams were at it for the rest of the quarter. However, the scoreline remained goalless as the hooter went off after the first 15 minutes.
India started the second quarter brilliantly and even got two back-to-back chances. However, they failed to capitalise on it. Then in the 20th minute, almost against the run of play, Japan took the lead as she converted a penalty corner.
India also got their first PC of the game, but once failed to find the back of the net. The team pushed for the equalizer and finally tasted success as Kaur scored a field goal at the stroke of half time.
The Indian women started the second half on the front foot and got their sixth PC of the game. But once again, they failed to score.
However, for the seventh PC of the night, Deep Grace Ekka scored and gave India the lead in the 38th minute of the game. India continued on the front foot and applied pressure on the Japanese goal.
Sharmila Devi thought she had given her team a two-goal advantage in the third quarter. However, the goal was disallowed as the ball hit her body.
Finally, Kaur was able to extend the lead for the Indian team as she scored in the 45th minute. Despite Japan’s efforts to mount a comeback, the Indian defence was resolute and saw off the game to secure the win.
— ENDS —