11 Jun 2023

India Bags Junior Women's Hockey Asia Cup For First Time

Kakamigahara (Japan): The Indian junior women's hockey team won the Junior Women's Asia Cup 2023 title for the first time with a historic 2-1 victory over Korea in the final on Sunday.

Annu (22nd minute) and Neelam (41st minute) contributed one goal each in this historic win for India. Korea's lone goal was scored by Seyoon Park (25th minute).

Korean girls earned 2 penalty corners in 1st quarter

The Indian girls, who reached the final for the first time since 2012, earned a penalty corner in the very first minute but had to wait a long time to open the account. The Korean team also earned two penalty corners in the first quarter, but failed to clear the net.

Annu gave India lead

Korea started the second quarter with two penalty corners. For the first time, Neelam stopped the ball brilliantly, while in the second attempt, Madhuri did not allow Korea's account to be opened. The blunder cost Korea dearly and Annu gave India an early lead in the 21st minute through a penalty stroke.

Park equalized for Korea 

Constant pressure on the Indian defense however soon paid off for Korea. Park equalized for Korea in the 25th minute of the match. Korea could have taken the lead before half time but goalkeeper Madhuri denied the ball to the net in the 30th minute.

Neelam again put India lead by converting a penalty corner

At the beginning of the third quarter, Korea's Yujin Lee and Nurim Choi had to leave the field for two minutes after they were shown green cards. Having fewer players in the Korean side helped India find the rhythm. A minute after Nurim was fouled, Neelam gave India the lead by converting a penalty corner.

Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke was shown yellow card 

In the 43rd minute of the match, Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke was shown a yellow card and sent out of the field. Korea could not take advantage of one less player in the Indian camp despite earning two penalty corners before the end of the third quarter.

This mistake proved costly for Korea. After taking the lead, the Indian girls focused on keeping the ball as much as possible in the final quarter. Annu may have been shown a green card five minutes before the end of the match, but the Korean team could not create any chances on goal.

India attempted a goal in the 59th minute which was saved by the Korean goalkeeper. Ultimately, Korea lost the final 1–2, with a failed goal attempt in the last minute of the match.

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