Singapore: India put a valiant fight before going down 2-3 to China in their last group match, but still qualified for the women’s Asian Champions Trophy (ACT) hockey final here on Friday, November 4.
India have finished as the second placed team after China following the end of the group stage and the two teams will lock horns again in the summit clash on Saturday. Following Friday’s final round robin game, India finished their group engagements with seven points while China climbed to the top spot with nine.
Of their four group matches, the Indian eves have won two and lost one.
On Saturday, China’s Cheng Yahan scored the opening goal in the 35th minute before Gou Qui Deepika doubled their lead in the 51st minute. For India, Poonam Rani scored in the 52nd minute and Vandana Kataria found the target in the 55th minute. Ou Zixia secured the win for China in the dying minutes as she scored in the 58th minute.
Both teams started the proceeding on a positive note but soon Neil Hawgood-coached India failed to stop the counter-attacks for China as a result they scored the opening goal to take a vital lead.
Soon, Qui doubled the lead by scoring in the 51st minute to take her team to a comfortable position.
After conceeding two quick goals, India pulled-up their socks and started rotating the ball to find the openings. The Indian eves penetrated the Chinese circle several times but success came in the last quarter via Poonam as she tapped the ball into an empty net to score the first goal.
A few minutes later, Vandana scored the equaliser to give India some hope, but Zixia scored in the dying minutes of the game to clinch the issue for China.