Starting with thrilling hockey, the aggressive Indian women’s team clinched their second Asian Champions Trophy title on Sunday by defeating Japan 4-0.
The match began 50 minutes late due to floodlight issues. India secured their victory with goals from Sangeeta Kumari (17th minute), Neha (46th minute), Lalremsiami (57th minute), and Vandana Katariya (60th minute).
India had previously won the Asian Champions Trophy in 2016 in Singapore, while Japan had claimed the title twice in 2013 and 2021.
India started aggressively, while Japan preferred to sit back and rely on counterattacks. India had an opportunity to take the lead, but Japan’s goalkeeper Akio Tanaka denied Deepika’s shot.
When Japan was on the attack, Indian defense held strong. India took the lead in the second quarter, with Sangeeta scoring a high hit after Neha Goyal’s play. Despite numerous attempts on Japan’s goal, India couldn’t convert.
Japan did score a goal in the second quarter through Shiho Kobayakawa, but it was disallowed due to body contact after India asked for a referral.
Both teams had several opportunities, but India’s strong defense held Japan at bay. In the final minute of the fourth quarter, India mounted pressure on the Japanese defense, leading to a series of penalty corners. Neha scored a goal on a penalty corner.
India continued to press the Japanese defense, and in the 57th minute, Udita’s initial strike on a penalty corner was saved by the Japanese goalkeeper, but Lalremsiami scored from the rebound. Just before the final hooter, Vandana Katariya scored a fantastic field goal to seal India’s comprehensive victory.
In other matches of the day, the reigning champions of the Asian Games, China, secured third place by defeating South Korea 2-1. China’s goals were scored by Yi Chen (3rd minute) and TianTian Luo (47th minute), while Korea’s lone goal was netted by Suji Eon (38th minute).