Indian women's hockey team beats China 2-1 in thriller to win 2016 Asian Champions Trophy
The Indian women’s hockey team scripted a brilliant 2-1 victory over their rivals China to be crowned as the winners of the 2016 Asian Champions Trophy. A match which was replete with attacks and counter-attacks, excitement and thrills, saw India’s Deepika’s score the final goal off a penalty corner with less than 30 seconds left on the clock to seal the win for the country.
The first half, displayed a change in strategy from the Indian side as compared to their previous encounter against China, they showcased a more offensive style of play. the first of the many realistic chances came forth in the 12th minute from Rani but the ball just whizzed edges past the left pole. the very next minute saw a penalty corner being awarded to India, with Grace scoring it off a well executed injecture to put India 1-0 up in the lead at the end of the first quarter.
Although there were great skills on display in the second quarter as well, but it seemed like both teams were playing with caution while it was India that surged ahead on posession. China however were prowling on the attack in the Indian D, but the Indian defense kept them at bay with the likes of Preeti and Radha playing to their potential.
The 21st minute saw a great Indian attempt being stopped in its tracks by the Chinese keeper. Cashing in on the attack, Deepika announced herself on the scene with a shot on the goal in the dying minutes but unfortunately lost her balance, causing the ball to slide away over the base line. All in all, India did well to hold on to the lead especially in the last 30 seconds with China on the offensive.
HALF TIME: India 1-0 China
The third quarter was a tory of constant hits and misses from both sides, with one team determined to keep the ball at bay and secure a resounding lead and the opposition determined to score the equaliser. India managed to win a penalty corner in the 33rd minute itself, but could repeat the same kind of success akin to the the first quarter. Deepika then missed the goal by a whisker in the 35th minute as she took a full shot which proved to be a wee-bit too high and was well defended by the Chinese keeper.
It was China then who led the attack from left to right for the next five minutes, when they managed to obtain three successive penalty corners but failed to convert even a single one. It was finally in the 44th minute, that a defensive lapse from the Indian side saw China’s Zhong Mengling draw a leveller scoring off from near the post, to make the scoreline 1-1.
The fourth and final quarter was one brimming with attack and drama as both teams tired their best to score what would be the winning goal. The most realistic chance of a field goal came witha minute left on the clock, when Deepika ran into the acres of empty space on offer in the Chinese half but the rival keeper made no mistake to stop the effort. Thee real drama unfolded in the 60th and final minute of the game, when Deepika nudged the ball superbly into the top right corner of the goal on a penalty corner to score the winner and put India 2-1 in the lead.
A visibly upset Chinese team, queationed the legitamacy of the goal and almost staged a walk-out but it was all to late as they did not have enough time left on the clock to get the equalizer.
FULL TIME: India 2-1 China