An outstanding save from Savita Punia gave India the coveted Women’s Hockey Asia Cup after 13 years and also ensured their qualification for next year’s Hockey World Cup. It was a nerve-wracking affair throughout as India broke the jinx on Sunday.
India defeated the mighty Chinese by 5-4 in the shoot-out. Indian skipper Rani Rampal scored the final goal for the Women in Blue and then came that magical moment when Punia saved the last shootout attempt from China.
Goalkeeper Savita produced a stunning save in a tense shootout which proved to be decisive.
The team broke a 13-year-old jinx when skipper Rani scored the final goal and Savita foiled an attempt from the rivals to ensure a 5-4 win.
India had failed to qualify for the last World Cup and finished ninth in the 2010 edition.
— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) November 5, 2017
Rani scored a brace while Monica, Lilima Minz and Navjot scored a goal each in the shootout. Prior to that, it was Navjot Kaur who scored India’s lone goal in the 25th minute while China found a late equaliser through Tiantian Luo, who converted a penalty corner in the 47th minute.
Earlier, it was Navjot Kaur who scored India’s lone goal in the 25th minute while China found a late equaliser through Tiantian Luo, who converted a penalty corner in the 47th minute.
It was advantage China right at the start as a stick check in the circle saw India concede a penalty corner in the second minute of the game.
However, Savita was at her best and padded it away while an alert Deep Grace cleared the ball. Soon after, Indian forwards launched a swift attack with Navneet Kaur and Vandana working in tandem to find space in the Chinese D but an attentive Wang Na averted danger.
China, meanwhile, won their second PC but Savita was spot on yet again to pad away Meiyu Liang’s flick.
It was in 2004 when the Indian women’s team had clinched the Asia Cup trophy by beating Japan 1-0.