India Outclass China to Lift Women's Asian Champions Trophy Hockey Title

Updated: 05 November 2016 22:13 IST

With moments left to play in the final match vs China and the scores level at 1-1, Deepika Thakur found the winner for India in the 60th minute to hand her team the title

India Outclass China to Lift Women
India scored late in the match to win the Asian Champions Trophy final 2-1 vs China. © Hockey India

Singapore:

The Indian women's hockey team lifted its maiden Asian Champions Trophy after Deepika Thakur struck in the final minute to give her team a thrilling 2-1 win over China in the final here on Saturday.

Deepika slotted the rebound in from a penalty corner in the 60th minute of the game to give her team a memorable victory.

Earlier, Deep Grace Ekka converted a penalty corner to take India into the lead in the 13th minute before China equalised in the 44th minute through a field goal from Zhong Mengling.

Good over-all show

The welcome result for the Indian women's team comes days after men beat Pakistan to reclaim the Asian Champions Trophy in Kuantan, Malaysia.

India's best finish in the Women's Asian Champions Trophy came in the last edition in 2013 when it finished runner-up to Japan. It had finished third in the inaugural edition in 2010.

Having learnt from their group stage encounter, India refused to let China take early control of the ball, closing them down high up the pitch, often intercepting their passes and constantly putting pressure by hunting in packs.

When in possession, the Indian eves held their nerve and passed the ball around neatly to penetrate China's circle.

Good start

This slightly different approach to their game compared to Friday helped them earn India's first PC of the game in the 13th minute.

An innovative set-piece saw Deep perfectly send the ball past the Chinese keeper for the early lead.

Going into the second quarter, India kept up the pressure by playing disciplined hockey, keeping their calm only to deny the Chinese a chance to equalise.

However, the third quarter saw China's Mengling Zhong penetrate the Indian circle to score a quick field goal. But the Indian eves were unrelenting and were playing the kind of hockey that had China on the backfoot.

China managed to earn their first PC of the match in the third quarter but failed to convert, sending the ball way off the baseline.

Deepika's last-minute goal

Though fortunes changed hands by the minute, neither team dropped the intensity going into the fourth quarter. For India, it was Rani who was acting like a lynchpin, attempting to penetrate the Chinese D to earn a PC and she found a chance with just minutes left before the final hooter went off.

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Topics mentioned in this article Hockey India Women
Highlights
  • India have won the Women's Asian Champions Trophy hockey title
  • India defeated China 2-1 in the final of the tournament
  • Deep Grace Ekka and Deepika scored for India
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