In the final of 3rd Women’s Hockey Asian Champions Trophy being played at Kakamigahara, Japan won the final against India to win the title for the first time. In the third place match, Malaysia defeated China by 3-1 to finish on podium.
The hosts Japan were quick off the blocks and scored from their first penalty corner in 2nd minute of the game and later on saved a flurry of attacks from gallant Indian side including a few of the penalty corners to clinch the game.
India’s Rajani E was adjudged as best Goalkeeper, while Akane Shibata of Japan was awarded as the Best Player of the Tournament.
The Japanese side earned a penalty corner in early in the game and utilized it fully through set-piece variation via tournament top scorer Arai Mazuki to early lead . Afterwards, Indians pressurized for the equalizer but could earn three penalty corner in a row, and were not able to send the ball across the goal line.
Later in first half, Japan also earned three penalty corners in 15th, 17th and 25th minute but Indian defenders lead by goalie stood firm to deny Japan any chances of scoring and increasing their lead. And, at the half time, Japan enjoyed a slender lead of 1-0.
After the change of ends, both the teams matched equally to each other till 50th minute when Japan earned yet another penalty corner but Indian goalie saved it.
India had a chance to equalize, when they were awarded with a penalty corner in 64th minute but the Japanese defenders saved it. In the last five minutes, Japan controlled the ball to clinch their first ever Asian Champions Trophy title.
In the Bronze medal match, China took the lead through Gu Bingfeng in 24th minute, but Malaysia replied within 4 minutes on a penalty corner through Rabiatul Adawiyah bt Mohamed to go in lemon break with scores level.
Rabiatul scored a field goal in 43rd minute to earn lead for her side and Noor Hasliza bt Md Ali scored on a penalty corner in 67th minute to seal the match and win Bronze Medal for Malaysia.
The classification matches of Men’s 3rd Hockey Asian Champions Trophy 2013 will be played at the same venue i.e. Green Stadium, Kakamigahara in Japan (Schedule here), while defending champions Pakistan will face Japan in finals, Malaysia and China will play for 3rd place, while India will take on Oman for fifth place.