Asian Games 2018 Review: India lose to Japan in women's hockey, face an uphill task to qualify for the 2020 Olympics
Women's Gold Medal Match
Indian eves seemed to be a tired unit in the women's hockey final at the recently-concluded Asian Games 2018. They did not press hard enough against the fast-paced Japanese girls, who showed a lot of determination and composure to ward off the Indian challenge to take the Gold.
Minami Shimizu scored the first goal through a penalty corner as she drove to the corner which beat the Indian goalie Savita. India equalized by the end of the first half through a 1-2 pass from the right with Goyal converting the opportunity into the net.
Japan converted a penalty corner in the 44th minute to claim their first Gold medal at Hockey at the Asian Games. India had 9 circle penetrations but were able to get only one penalty corner, which is an area that they need to work upon in the future.
Japan (14) defeated India (9) 2-1. (JPN - Minami Shimizu 11', Motomi Kawamura 44'; IND - Neha Goyal 25').
Bronze Medal Match
The Korean defense was dismantled as China made several break-through passes, especially from their defender Li Jiaqi, but were unable to make use of the opportunities to score goals.
Gu Bingfeng was opportunistic as she capitalized on a penalty corner to score the opening goal. Song doubled the lead in the 58th minute, which sealed the fate for Korea even though they pulled one back in the last minute.
China (11) defeated South Korea (10) 2-1. (CHN - Gu Bingfeng 20', Song Xiaoming 58'; KOR - Kim Ok-Ju 60').
Gurjit Kaur of India produced a stunning drag-flick as the Chinese stopper Jiao was left bemused. That goal proved to be the decider in a defensively played semi-final as both teams had fewer attacking opportunities. India were unable to make the most of the 5 shots they had on target and only converted one of their 7 penalty corner opportunities.
India (9) defeated China (11) 1-0. (IND - Gurjit Kaur 52').
Japan were clinical and precise as they surgically worked out Korea to win their semi-finals. Korea, on the other hand, were unable to convert the 5 scoring opportunities they had with them. Both goals for Japan came in the final quarter of the match.
Japan (14) defeated South Korea (10) 2-0. (JPN - Akiko Ota 49', Minami Shimizu 60').
Results involving India
Gurjit Kaur produced a hat-trick as India had a comfortable victory over Indonesia in the opening encounter of the 18th Asian Games. India reeled off 26 shots, of which 8 found the target with a conversion ratio of 26%. Their penalty corner conversion was dismal at 23% (5/21), considering the nature of their opposition.
India (9) defeated Indonesia (64) 8-0. (IND - Udita 9', Vandana Katariya 14', 28', Gurjit Kaur 17', 22', 57', Lalremsiami 25', Navneet Kaur 50').
India had a field day against the Kazakhs as they pumped in 21 goals with Gurjit Kaur scoring 4 goals alone. The fiery paced Lalremsiami scored a hat-trick, so did Vandana Katariya and Navneet Kaur. The conversion rate was at 44%, which was a good number and would make Sjoerd Marijne happy. Penalty corner conversion was at 31%, which was also good according to international standards.
India (9) defeated Kazakhstan (34) 21-0. (IND - Gurjit Kaur 7', 36', 44', 52', Lalremsiami 9', 19', 30', Neha Goyal 10', Navneet Kaur 11', 12', 49', Navjot Kaur 16', 54', Vandana Katariya 29', 37', 53', Udita 34', Lilima Minz 38', 45', Deep Grace Ekka 43', Monika Malik 55').
India turned up against the Koreans and played an aggressive brand of hockey and were simply spectacular to watch. Gurjit Kaur came up with two spectacular drag-flicks which were simply unstoppable by the Korean keeper Sooji Jang. Every attack by the Indian team was purposeful as their conversion rate was at 80%. India would have blown away even the mightiest of opponents on this day.
India (9) defeated South Korea (10) 4-1. (IND - Navaneet Kaur 16', Gurjit Kaur 54', 55', Vandana Katariya 56'; KOR - Lee Yu-Rim 21').
This was a different Indian team which turned out against the Thais. The pace of the match was extremely slow, and they were losing out balls to the opposition easily. They were error-prone in their display in hockey basics, had a lethargic attitude, and, as a Hockey fanatic, I wanted to turn off the television and take a nap. India missed all their 6 penalty corners and their conversion percentage saw a huge dip to 22%.
India (9) defeated Thailand (28) 5-0. (IND - Rani Rampal 37', 46', 56', Monika Malik 52', Navjot Kaur 55').
Hong Kong (44) defeated Kazakhstan (34) 2-0. (HKG - Lo I Ka 21', Chan Yi Man 52').
Indonesia (64) defeated Chinese Taipei (53) 2-0. (INA - Arindah Putri 21', Yuanita Suwito 41').
Chinese Taipei (53) defeated Hong Kong (44) 3-2. (TPE - Yang Chia-Yu 15', Liao Pei-Shan 40', Yang Chun-Hui 42'; HKG - Olivia Chiu 22', Lao Pui Sze 34').
Malaysia (22) drew with China (11) 2-2. (MAS - Hannis Nadiah Onn 33', 44'; CHN - Liang Meiyu 10', Gu Bingfeng 49').
Japan (14) defeated China (11) 4-2. (JPN - Minami Shimizu 4', 8', Shihori Oikawa 19', Akiko Kato 26'; CHN - Gu Bingfeng 12', 32').
Kazakhstan (34) defeated Thailand (28) 3-1. (KAZ - Vera Domashneva 21', Natalya Gataulina 33', Natalya Sazontova 50'; THA - Natthakarn Aunjai 58').
Indonesia (64) defeated Kazakhstan (34) 2-1. (INA - Yuanita Suwito 59, Annur El Islany 60'; KAZ - Natalya Sazontova 6').
Gu Bingfeng of China was the top-scorer of the tournament amassing 13 goals.
1 - Japan, 2 - India, 3 - China, 4 - South Korea, 5 - Malaysia, 6 - Thailand, 7 - Indonesia, 8 - Chinese Taipei, 9 - Hong Kong, 10 - Kazakhstan.