Incheon (Republic of Korea), 1 October 2014: The Indian Women Hockey team showed a spectacular performance and defeated Japan 2-1 to claim the bronze medal in the 17th Asian Games 2014 at the Soenhak Hockey Stadium in Incheon, Republic of Korea today.
In the hard-fought battle between the two teams, the Indian eves took an early lead through a successful conversion of a penalty corner by Jaspreet Kaur in the 23rd minute of the games, following a dry first quarter of the game for both the teams.
Japan squeezed off its first goal which came through the stick of Shibata Akane in the 41st minute, levelling the score to 1-1. India’s craving for scoring more goals did not come to an end as Vandana Katariya answered beautifully to the opponents in the very next minute giving a simple finish to this quarter in the 42nd minute. With this, India surpassed Japan’s score and advanced the lead to 2-1 before entering into the next quarter.
The last quarter of the game was a challenging session as both the teams played brilliantly well but struggled to sneak in goals. Japan tried to create several opportunities but Indian Goalkeeper Savita and defence didn’t allow them to convert any of them. After the final whistle of the match, the score stood 2-1 in favour of India.
Congratulating India on the medal finish, Coach Neil Hawgood said, “The team played exceptionally well today as per the strategies and I am extremely happy that we have finished with a bronze medal. The overall performance of the team was much better this time as compared to the XX Commonwealth Games”.
Praising the team Captain Ritu Rani said, “I am really happy with the way the girls played today. It is through the collective efforts of the whole team that we have won the bronze medal. I encourage the girls and hope the team keeps up the positive spirit so that we can show a better performance here on.”
Indian Women Hockey team had earlier won bronze the medal at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha where they defeated South Korea 1-0.
The bronze medallist Indian Women Hockey team will arrive at IGI Airport, New Delhi on 3 October 2014 at 01.00hrs on flight number is OZ 767.