Tokyo:11/6/23: Indian girls capped a fine run in the Junior Asia Cup Women’s hockey tournament with a 2-1 triumph over four-time champions South Korea at Japan’s Kakamigahara on Sunday.
It was India’s first title in the competition, having once finished runners-up in 2012
After a barren opening quarter, India took the lead in the 22nd minute. Following a stick challenge by a South Korean player during a penalty corner routine, India were awarded a penalty stroke. Annu made no mistake, thus redeeming herself after missing one from the spot in the semifinal against Japan two days ago.
India’s lead was short-lived as Park Seo Yeon equalised after three minutes. She darted in from the right, entered the ‘D’ and beat goalkeeper Madhuri Kindo with a stinging hit.
Eleven minutes after the change of ends, Neelam helped India regain the advantage as she drove the ball home off a penalty corner.
It turned out to be the decisive goal as Odisha girl Madhuri pulled off a couple of fine saves under the bar to deny Koreans a second equaliser.
Another Odisha girl Sunelita Toppo played no mean part as she netted the winning goal in the semifinal against hosts Japan.