India dominate Malaysia in opening Women’s Hockey Asia Cup encounter

Shaunak GhoshShaunak Ghosh

January 22 2022
Women's hockey Asia Cup
(Courtesy : Hockey India)

Vandana Katariya, Navneet kaur and Sharmila all scored braces for the winning team.

Indian Women’s Hockey Team made a fine start to their campaign at the Women’s Asia Cup with a strong 9-0 win against Malaysia here at the Sultan Qaboos Hockey Stadium in Muscat, Oman on Friday. Goals were scored by Vandana Katariya (8′, 34′), Deep Grace Ekka (10′), Navneet Kaur (15′, 27′), Lalremsiami (38′), Monika (40′), Sharmila (46′, 59′).

The defending Women’s Hockey Asia Cup Champions led by Savita made an attacking start in the first quarter with fast-paced set-play. The first goal came through a smart assist by Neha Goyal to experienced forward Vandana who broke no sweat in converting the goal in the 8th minute. India’s second goal came in the 10th minute via a PC courtesy Navjot Kaur who worked effortlessly in the frontline to earn India the PC. The goal was converted through a fierce strike by Deep Grace Ekka. Even as India’s forwardline pushed for goals, the defence held strong, allowing no real threat in their circle. 

Meanwhile, the third goal for India came when Lalremsiami intercepted the ball, stopping Malaysia from making inroads into India’s half, and passed it on to a speedy Sharmila who showcased her exceptional talent with the ball as she raced into the attacking circle only to make a perfect assist to Navneet. 

A poised Navneet did well to beat the Malaysian defender and score a fine goal. She was responsible for India’s fourth goal too and she remained the cynosure of India’s attack in today’s game as she impressed with her timely positioning to create chances. 

Following the ten-minute half-time break, India continued to pump Malaysia’s goalpost with a flurry of goals. It was Vandana who struck again in the 34th minute taking India’s lead to a formidable 5-0 while her younger counterpart Lalremsiami extended the lead to 6-0 with a goal in the 38th minute. The experienced Monika, who was later awarded the Player of the Match for her timely assists, scored India’s seventh goal in the 40th minute at the Women’s Hockey Asia Cup. 

India continued to dominate the proceedings with better ball possession and created potential scoring opportunities in the remaining minutes of the game. Lanky striker Sharmila added to India’s scoreline when she struck two splendid field goals in the 46th minute and 59th minute, thus ending the match with a 9-0 score. 

On Sunday, 23rd January, India will take on Japan at 2030 hrs IST in their second Women’s Hockey Asia Cup Pool A match. 

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