KUALA LUMPUR: Japan regained the Women’s Asia Cup title by defeating Korea in the final of 8th Women’s Asia Cup at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil, while India defeated the defending Champions China in shoot-out to clinch Bronze Medal.
Special Individual Awards:
Best player: Kim Jong-eun ( Korea)
Best goalkeeper: Savita (India)
Most promising player: Wu Huang Yu (Chinese Taipei)
Top scorer: Kim Da-rae (Korea) – 9 goals
Player–of-the-final: Aki Mitsuhasi (Japan)
Japan, the champions of 2007 edition, had gone into the final with confidence against the three times champions Korea, but the Japanese side emerged as winners despite having lost to the Koreans in the group stage 3-0.
The bronze medal match between India and China ended in 2-2 draw at regulation time, which saw first shoot-out of the tournament in play, where India won 3-2.
The Indian side started the game with aggression and were leading 2-0 at the lemon break. Anuradha Devi scored the opening goal in the 10th minute and Vandana Katariya added the second in the 31st minute for India.
After change of ends, the Chinese side made a comeback into the game with strikes in 50th and 64th minutes Yan Yan and Xi Xiayun respectively to force the game into penalty shoot-out.
And 2004 Asia Cup champions India prevailed in the shoot to take third place. For the Chinese the fourth placing is the lowest they have had in the Asia Cup series since taking part in 1989. Chinese were the champions in 1989 and 2009. They finished second in 1993 and third in 1999, 2004 and 2007.
Japan’s Korean coach You Seung-jin had wanted his team to play Korean in the final and had his wish when they defeated China in the semi-final.
“Yes we knew that it would be easier playing the Koreans. They did beat us earlier but we felt that with the right strategy we will be able to overcome them. It is good to regain the Asia Cup but more importantly we have now earned our place in the World Cup by being the continental champions.”
“This will boost the morale of the team and we look forward to the World Cup in Holland next year. I am very proud of my players. They deserved to win,” he said.
Japan struck the first goal in the 27th minute through a quick counter attack with Aki Mitsuhashi from a field attempt. Aki later won the player–of-the-match award.
The second goal came in the 55th minute also from a counter attack with Otsuka Shihu scoring.
The Koreans staged a late fight back and were camped in the Japan half for long periods. In the 69th minute Kim Jong-eun reduced the deficit. But then time ran out for them and Japan was crowned as the Asia Cup Winners once again.
Malaysia took fifth place with a 5-1 win over Kazakhstan, while Chinese Taipei finished in seventh place after beating Hong Kong 3-1.
Chinese Taipei had the consolation when their young star Wu Huang Yu was named the most promising player of the tournament.