In a highly anticipated final showdown, the Indian women’s field hockey team emerged triumphant, defeating Japan 4-0 to claim the prestigious Jharkhand Women’s Asian Champions Trophy. This victory marked India’s second Asian Champions Trophy title, with their previous triumph dating back to 2016. Under the guidance of head coach Janneke Schopman, this victory adds to their silverware collection, which includes the FIH Nations Cup.
The final match took some time to ignite, even after factoring in a one-hour delay at the start. During the initial quarter, both India and Japan struggled to assert control over the game, with neither side displaying their full range of skills, resulting in a lack of clear-cut opportunities.
The turning point arrived early in the second quarter when Sangita Kumari, a standout performer throughout the tournament, produced a moment of brilliance. After receiving a well-timed pass from Neha on the right flank, Kumari executed a superb finish over the Japanese goalkeeper, giving India a crucial lead.
Japan responded with solid defense, making it a closely contested battle leading up to halftime and into the third quarter. India’s defense, led by goalkeeper Savita Punia, held strong against a series of penalty corners forced by Japan.
However, the fourth quarter showcased India’s dominance, delighting the capacity crowd in Ranchi. Neha, who had an outstanding game, doubled India’s lead with a deflection from a cleverly executed penalty corner routine.
Japan had a chance to reduce the deficit when they were awarded a penalty stroke, but Savita denied them with a remarkable save. India further extended their lead with a goal from Lalremsiami, and Vandana Katariya added the final touch after more excellent work from Neha.
India’s flawless performance throughout the tournament, featuring seven wins, 27 goals scored, and only three goals conceded, culminated in this remarkable victory. While the shadow of Hangzhou’s disappointment still lingers, this competition served as a valuable tune-up event for India as they prepare for the upcoming Olympic qualifiers in a few months. India has undoubtedly achieved their objectives and returned home with silverware in hand.
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