India put up an impressive show to defeat four-time champions South Korea 2-1 and clinch their maiden Women's Junior Hockey Asia Cup here on Sunday
Team India celebrates after winning maiden Women's Junior Hockey Asia Cup title (Pic: Hockey India)
India put up an impressive show to defeat four-time champions South Korea 2-1 and clinch their maiden Women's Junior Hockey Asia Cup here on Sunday.
Annu and Neelam scored for India while Park Seo Yeon was the lone goal scorer for Korea.
After a barren first quarter, India got the lead with a 22nd minute goal by Annu from a penalty corner. South Korea took three minutes to bring it level when Park Seo Yeon struck from the right following a brilliant surge from the right.
Neelam struck powerfully to the low right of the South Korean goalkeeper to help India regain the lead in the 41st minute.
India held on to their slender lead in the third quarter to seal the issue.
South Korea had a lot of chances with India generously giving them PCs one after the other, but they failed to capitalise.
Before this, India's best-ever finish in the tournament was in 2012 edition in Bangkok when they entered the final of the continental showpiece for the first time, only to lose to China 2-5.
Indian captain Preeti who was named Player-of-the-Match said they had their strategy in place following a 1-1 draw against the Koreans in the round-robin stage.
"We were acutely aware of the specific areas we needed to excel in order to overcome the Koreans," Preeti said.
"The final match brought about a considerable amount of nerves. However, we knew that as a team we have to play our best game to achieve something special and that's exactly what we did. We are elated to make our nation proud,” she added.
Hockey India announces cash rewards
Hockey India has declared a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh for each player while the support staff will receive Rs 1 lakh for their splendid show
India remained unbeaten in the tournament and also secured a spot in the Women's Junior World Cup 2023 slated in Chile later this year.
“We are filled with immense pride as the Indian Junior Women's team clinched their maiden Junior Asia Cup, leaving us all in awe.
"It will serve as a strong foundation for their upcoming challenge at the Junior World Cup later this year," Hockey India president Dilip Tirkey said.
(With PTI inputs)