The Fans of HockeyNewsWomen's HockeyWomen’s Hockey Hawke’s Bay Cup: China beat India 2-1 in Opener

On the opening day of The Hawke’s Bay Cup (Women’s Hockey), the Hosts Black Sticks came from 0-2 down to draw 2-2 against Japan, while India were defeated by China (2-1) in the tournament opener. USA held Australia for 1-1 draw as Argentina beat Korea by 2-0.

RESULTS of The Hawke’s Bay Cup (Women’s Hockey) Day 1:
Game four: Black Sticks vs Japan: 2-2 Draw
Japanese goal scorers: Shihori Oikawa, Hazuki Nagai
New Zealand goal scorers: Rachel McCann, Pippa Hayward

Game three: Argentina vs Korea: 2-0 (Argentina win)
Argentina goal scorer: Martina Cavallero x2

Game two: Australia vs USA: 1-1 Draw
USA goal scorer: Melissa Gonzalez
Australian goal scorer: Emily Smith

Game one: India vs China: 2-1 (China win)
India goal scorers: Anuradha Thockchom
China goal scorers: Mengu Wang, Qian Yu

In the first game today, China beat India 2-1 thanks to goals from China’s Mengu Wang and Qian Yu. India, ranked six spots behind China, were determined in defence but it was only Anuradha Thokchom that found the back of the net.

India came into the opening match of the Hawke’s Bay Cup Hockey tournament in Hastings New Zealand, knowing they would have to produce something special to upset their more fancied opponents, China.

The Indian defence was strong but in the end couldn’t hold out the skilful Chinese team who are 6 places ahead of them on the world rankings.

The first quarter was a relatively even affair with China having the best of the early exchanges but not being able to finish.

India relied mainly on the fast break and did manage to catch the Chinese on a number of occasions but couldn’t make it count. Play seesawed up and down the turf in the early stages of the second quarter with neither team able to dominate for any length of time.

That all changed just after halftime when three goals were scored in a period of 7 minutes. India was first on the board (31mins) when against the form shown in the first half, Anuradha Thokchom got the ball into the back of the net to give India a 1 nil lead.

Just 3 minutes later Mengu Wang levelled the match for China when India failed to clear the ball from a penalty corner. Then it was the turn of Qian Yu to give China a 2 – 1 lead after a goalmouth scramble.

The reminder of the match was a scrappy affair with both sides fainling to capitalise on a number of chances in front of goal.

Both teams have difficult matches tomorrow with China playing Australia and India meets the USA.

The second match of the day was between two of the more fancied teams in the tournament – USA and Australia – and with the full time score locked at 1-1 it highlighted just how close the two sides are. Melissa Gonzalez scored a penalty corner in the second quarter and then Australian Emily Smith crashed home an equaliser in the 42nd minute.

The third match of the game was between Argentina and Korea and despite Korea being resolute on defence, it was South American Martina Cavallero who scored from two penalty corners to give her side a first-up win.

The final game saw, the Black Sticks Women scrambling a 2-2 draw against Japan in their opening game of the Hawke’s Bay Cup tonight in Hastings. After trailing 0-2 at the end of the third quarter, the Black Sticks have Rachel McCann and Pippa Hayward to thank for finding the back of the net.

Throughout tonight’s game the Kiwis had their chances, they were awarded a series of penalty corners just before the half time break but all attempts ended up on the keeper’s pads. Japan’s game plan focussed on very structured defensive lines, extremely quick counter-attack and skilful aerial passes which created great attacking opportunities. Japan were the first to score through a penalty corner scored by Shihori Oikawa in the 24th minute.

The visitors came out firing immediately after the half-time break, and were awarded two penalty corners in the first two minutes of the half with Hazuki Nagai scoring from a direct drag flick low to the keeper’s right. Things started to go the Kiwis way when McCann got a nice touch in the 50th minute to get New Zealand on the board, followed by Hayward scoring from a goalmouth scramble two minutes before the final hooter.

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