Bangkok: India outclassed South Korea 3-0 to finish with the bronze medal at the 4th Women’s U18 Asia Cup 2016 hockey tournament here on Thursday.
Ritu put India in the lead by converting a penalty corner early in the second half while Sangita Kumari scored a couple of field goals later on. The two teams played out a goalless first half, with India content with dropping deep and relying on the counter to create opportunities.
The Koreans earned several penalty corners but failed to convert from any as the Indian defence closed them down perfectly.
The best chance of the half fell to Mahima Choudhary. A defensive mistake in the Korean penalty circle saw the ball fall to Sangita who flashed a shot across the goal with Mahima waiting for the opportunity at the far post. But the weight on the pass was too much for Mahima as the chance went wide.
India took the lead minutes after the break as Ritu scored the opener off a penalty corner.
A few minutes later, some brilliant interplay between Lalremsiami and Sangita saw the latter’s shot stopped on the line illegally as India were awarded a penalty stroke. But Manpreet Kaur’s attempt to convert the stroke was denied by South Korean goalkeeper Lee Da Bom.
In the 55th minute, the duo combined again, Lalremsiami intercepting a Korean pass and showing great vision to pick out an inch perfect through to Sangita, who cut past two defenders to slot the ball into the goal and extend India’s lead.
The third goal came off a similar route, Sangita scoring her second of the game in the 58th minute.
From there on, India held firm control over the game, and held off a late Korean penalty corner to complete a deserved victory.
Hockey India announced cash rewards of Rs.1 lakh for each player, and Rs.50,000 for each member of the support staff.