On the penultimate day of 7th Women’s Junior Asia Cup, Changzhou, China and Japan defeated Korea and India in the respective semi-finals to reach the tournament final and also claim a ticket to next year’s Junior World Cup. Malaysia defeated Thailand to claim fifth place, while Singapore slipped past Chinese Taipei to secure the opportunity to play DPR Korea for seventh place tomorrow.
India Junior Women Hockey team today went down fighting 2-2 (2-3 Shot Out) against Japan during the Semi-Final match. After a closely fought match and riding with the goals scored by Deep Grace Ekka and Renuka Yadav, Indian eves lost the match in the Shoot-Out where their Asian counterpart edged-past Indians by 3-2.
The first half started with India’s surprise attack on Japanese side and very soon they earned a penalty corner. Deep Grace Ekka received the shot and hit hard into the goal-box to score the first goal of the match in the 4th minute. With the early 1-0 lead, Indian eves managed to put pressure on their opponents and played most of their game in the Japanese half. Japan took some time to recover and counter-attacked on the Indian side. After few charges, they earned a penalty corner but Indian goal-keeper Inderpreet Kaur thwarted the attack. Japanese got another penalty corner in 18th minute and this time captain Yukari Mano converted, ensuring that the game equalised at1-1. 25th minute and midfielder Renuka Yadav sneaked into Japanese half with her quick moves and sent the ball to the nets to score the second goal for her team. After the 2-1 lead, Indians managed to control the match again and maintain the samescore-line till the end of first half.
The second half started with more aggression from both sides as both the teams stepped on the ground with their game-plans. India soon earned a penalty corner but failed to materialise it. In the next moment, Japan counter-attacked and earned a penalty corner and was perfectly saved by Inderpreet. In the 57th minute, Japan’s Ayane Hirahara entered into the Indian D and scored the second goal for her team. Both the teams post that were seen to take one up in the game but failed to materialise on the opportunities. With the game tied at 2-2 at the end of regulation time the match entered the shoot out phase.
During the Shoot-Out, Japan Junior Team converted three shoot-outs and Indian team managed to convert only two. Navjot Kaur and Preeti Dubey successfully converted the opportunities whereas Navneet Kaur, Deep Grace and skipper Rani failed to score and eventually lost the match by 2-2 (2-3 SO)
In the first semi-final, the hosts China faced the Republic of Korea in a fierce battle of equal opponents who showed remarkable power and determination. For the most of the time, neither team could gain any advantage, and the two opposing sides canceled each other’s efforts out. It wasn’t until the 54th minute that an opportunity opened up when Korea’s Nam Yeji had to step aside with a yellow card that the deadlock was broken: with the advantage of one player more, China pushed for the elusive goal with renewed force, and won a penalty corner. Zhong Mengling coolly converted for what was to be the only goal of the encounter, securing the win, a place in tomorrow’s Women’s Junior Asia Cup final, and a place in next year’s Junior World Cup for the hometeam.
The 7th Women’s Junior Asia Cup 2015 is a qualification tournament for the FIH Junior World cup (Women) 2016. India’s next clash will be against Korea for 3rd-4th Classification Match on 13th September at 01:30 pm IST and hosts China will play Japan in the final at 04:00 pm IST.