Defending Champions India continued their winning performance as they beat World No.8 China 3-1 in their second round-robin match at the fifth Women’s Asian Champions Trophy at the Sunrise Stadium here on Wednesday.
India had earlier beaten Japan 4-1 in their opening match on Sunday.
It was experienced forward Vandana Katariya who starred in India’s victory as she scored double goals in the 4th and 11th minute that gave a formidable lead early on for the Defending Champions while Gurjit Kaur (51st) was the other goal scorer for India.
India were in attack mode right from the start. While a constructive defence against a strong Chinese squad was imperative, India showed zeal as they pushed for an early goal.
It was impeccable team work between Lilima Minz, Navjot Kaur and Vandana that ensured India were put ahead of China by a goal in the fourth minute.
An assist by Navjot to Lilima who used a reverse shot to the post found a perfect deflection off Vandana’s stick.
Their second goal came off Udita’s clever assist to Vandana who smashed it past China goalkeeper giving India a comfortable 2-0 lead.
Udita had taken the shot on goal herself but was obstructed by the Chinese goalkeeper; she picked up the rebound, but surrounded by Chinese defenders she pushed the ball to Vandana who took her time to channel the ball into the goal post.
Having pushed China on the back foot early on, the World No.8 squad were desperate for a breakthrough.
Their moment of reckoning came in the 15th minute when Wen Dan converted a well-struck field goal to narrow the lead to 2-1 before going into the first break. China had earlier won four back-to-back penalty corners but could not breach Savita’s fine goalkeeping.
While the second quarter saw India keep up the momentum and show excellent defensive skills that kept China from equalising, the third quarter saw Savita showcase good goalkeeping skills to keep China from converting their fifth penalty corner.
India put up a attacking front yet again in the fourth quarter that fetched an important penalty corner in the 51st minute.
Gurjit Kaur, who is India’s lone drag flick expert, made no mistake in swiftly striking the ball to the centre of the post taking India’s lead to 3-1.
With the clock ticking away, China looked to come back into the game but a goal remained elusive. Though they won a penalty corner in the dying minutes of the game, the Indian defenders steered clear to register their second successive win.