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India win bronze at Women’s Asia Cup

Muscat : India signed off the Women’s Hockey Asia Cup 2022 with a hard-fought 2-0 victory over China in the third/fourth placing match here on Friday. Goals by Sharmila Devi (13′) and Gurjit Kaur (19′) helped the Savita-led side end the continental tournament with the third-place finish. It was a neck-and-neck start, with both teams trying to make inroads in each other’s striking circle, showcasing good attacking and defending skills. Both India and China created potential goalscoring opportunities and even earned themselves penalty corners but both missed out on converting it. However, in the 14th minute, India’s effort paid off as young forward Sharmila found herself in the right spot to push the ball in the goal during Gurjit’s powerful drag flick, which got stopped by the defence line while taking the penalty corner. India led 1-0 at the end of the first quarter. The charged-up Indian eves started the second quarter on an attacking note and four minutes later they earned a penalty corner, which was duly converted by Gurjit. China, on the other hand, tried to look for an opportunity to reduce the deficit and their efforts did get rewarded with a penalty corner but the India captain and goalkeeper Savita pulled off a remarkable save to deny the Chinese. Minutes later, Navneet got an opportunity to add the third goal in the score-line but narrowly missed the target from the right side of the goalpost. After the 10-minute half-time break, China, who were trailing 0-2, started the third quarter on the front foot and piled pressure on India. India’s defence stood tall and denied China’s each attempt at the goal. The latter stage of the third quarter saw both teams fight for possession. China displayed a better attack and made inroads in India’s circle. However, the Indian defence soaked the pressure and successfully defended the Chinese threat to keep the score-line 2-0 at the end of the third quarter. At the start of the fourth quarter, China won yet another penalty corner but failed to convert it. During the counterattack, Salima Tete did get the opportunity but her reverse flick was blocked by the Chinese defence. China, who came all guns blazing, enjoyed the possession throughout the final quarter. They even earned three consecutive penalty corners in the dying minutes but a solid display by Indian defence helped the Indian eves secure third place in the tournament. 

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