Jakarta (Indonesia): The Indian Women’s Hockey Team produced a very composed and confident performance in their third Pool B match of the 18th Asian Games as they registered an emphatic 4-1 victory over South Korea and book a place in the semi-finals here at the Gelora Bung Karno Hockey Field on Saturday.
The World No. 9 Indian team took the lead in the match through Navneet Kaur (16’) but South Korea’s Yurin Lee (21’) equalised for the Defending Champions. However, three quick-fire goals in as many minutes in the last quarter through Gurjit Kaur (54’, 55’) and Vandana Katariya (56’) saw India register a convincing victory.
Facing their first real test of the competition, the Indian team battled for possession during the first ten minutes of the first quarter. The Koreans tried to create openings for themselves, but the Indian defence showed grit and kept their shape. In the 12th minute, it was India who had the first significant chance as Neha Goyal made a darting run on the left flank inside the striking circle, and passed the ball across the Korean goal, but her pass could not be met by a teammate.
With just a minute to go, Koreans looked to attack India on the counter as Monika lost possession easily in midfield, and Seulki Cheon found herself one-on-one with Indian defender Deep Grace Ekka but the latter’s well-timed tackle meant that the teams ended the first quarter goal-less.
The second quarter could not have started better for India as they earned a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute through striker Navneet Kaur, who made a good run inside the circle and was present in front of goal to guide the ball over the Korean Goalkeeper Sooji Jang after Midfielder Lilima Minz had played a fine pass across the Korean goal. However, the World No. 9 team had a nervy few moments after taking the lead, and ended up conceding a Penalty Stroke in the 21st minute as Deep Grace Ekka was adjudged to have pushed a Korean forward.
The Indian Women’s Hockey Team will play their fourth and last Pool B match against Thailand on August 27.