Asian Games 2023 Hockey semifinals Highlights: Hosts China defeat top seed India
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The stage is set for an epic showdown as the Indian women’s hockey team goes head-to-head against China in the first semi-final of the 19th Asian Games 2023, scheduled to take place on Thursday. Both teams have shown remarkable form in the tournament, and a place in the final is on the line in what promises to be a thrilling contest.
India have been nothing short of exceptional in the competition, remaining unbeaten thus far. They kicked off their campaign with an emphatic 13-0 win against Singapore and followed it up with a convincing 6-0 victory over Malaysia. Despite a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Korea, they rebounded strongly with a resounding 13-0 win against Hong Kong China to top Pool A.
China, too, displayed their prowess by starting the tournament with a remarkable 20-0 victory over Indonesia, followed by an 11-0 triumph against Kazakhstan. While they faced a setback with a 0-2 loss to Japan, they bounced back with a commanding 12-0 win against Thailand in their last group-stage match to secure a spot in the semi-finals.
The stakes are high in this semi-final clash, as the team that emerges victorious will not only advance to the Final but will also be assured of at least a silver medal.
In terms of head-to-head records, India hold a slight advantage, having won 11 out of 22 matches against China, which emerged victorious in nine games, while two games ended in a draw. This history adds an extra layer of excitement to the upcoming battle.
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Indian women’s hockey team captain, Savita, expressed her anticipation and stated, “This is a significant moment for us. We’ve performed exceptionally well so far, but the Semi-Final is a different challenge. China are a formidable opponent with a rich history in the Asian Games. However, we’re also fully prepared for the challenge and will give our best to make our country proud.”
Meanwhile, Indian women’s team coach Janneke Schopman also shared her thoughts and said, “Our journey in this tournament has been remarkable, and we’ve worked tirelessly to reach this stage. The players are in great shape, both physically and mentally.
Our focus is on executing our strategies flawlessly and maintaining our discipline on the field. We respect China’s abilities, but we’re determined to secure a place in the Final.”
With a rich history of their own, having won the prestigious tournament once in 1982, India aim to script another memorable chapter in their hockey legacy. China, on the other hand, with three Asian Games titles to their name, seek to reaffirm their dominance.
Hence, it will be a fiercely contested battle as both teams vie for supremacy and a coveted spot in the Final of the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022.
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