Asia Cup hockey: Indian women lose to Korea in semis, World Cup dreams end
India lost 2-1 against a high-scoring Korean side. Ritu Rani's lone goal was not enough as India needed to win the tournament to clinch a berth in next year's World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands.
India's dreams of earning a World Cup hockey berth were shattered when they lost 2-1 in a semifinal match of the 8th women's Asia Cup championship in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday. The Koreans scored both their goals in the first half. Ritu Rani (in pic) pulled one back for India soon after halftime, but the Koreans held on to their slender lead. China and Japan will play the second semifinal. (India vs Korea match highlights)
The Koreans, who had scored 31 goals in their three group matches, were on the offensive from the start and scored both their goals in the first 10 minutes. The goals came from penalty corner conversions.
Korea took a 1-0 lead in the second minute of the match. Cheon Seul Ki converted the first penalty corner the Koreans earned. Twenty-four-year-old Cheon Seul KiÂ is a veteran of 71 international matches and one of the best dragflickers in Asia. Korea make it 2-0 in the ninth minute. Cheon Eun Bi, who has played 43 matches for Korea, made no mistake.
The prolific Ritu Rani, who scored seven goals in India's first match against Hong Kong China, scored in the 41st minute. She converted a penalty corner. But the Koreans held on to their slender lead to shut the door on the Indians.
Earlier this week, India claimed a hard-fought 2-0 win against Malaysia, with Poonam Rani and Lily Chanu Mayengbam both scoring crucial second half goals. The result sealed a second place finish in Pool A behind China.
Korea continued their superb run of form with a blistering 16-2 win against Chinese Taipei to seal their place at the top of Pool B, while Japan confirmed their place in the competition semifinals with a thoroughly convincing 12-0 drubbing of Kazakhstan.