Stalwart Vandana Katariya slammed a brace while Sangita Kumari, Lalremsiami and Jyoti scored a goal each as India came up with another dominating display of stick-work to thrash Malaysia 5-0 in the women's Asian Champions Trophy hockey tournament in Ranchi on Saturday. Continuing from where they had left off on Friday, decimating Thailand 7-1 in the opening match, the Indian midfield worked in tandem with the forward line to give them the momentum right from the start of the contest. (Hockey News)
Vandana (7th, 21st), Sangita (28th), Lalremsiami (28th) and Jyoti (38th) were on target for India.
Malaysia were never in the contest against a far superior Indian side marshalled by captain Savita Punia as veteran forward Vandana pierced the porous defence of the rivals with ease to score the opening goal from a penalty corner in the seventh minute of the first quarter.
Another rasping penalty corner from Vandana saw Malaysia go down 0-2 midway through the second quarter and just before the conclusion of the first half, Sangita, who had slammed a hat-trick against Thailand on Friday, weaved her way into the circle to score a fine field goal.
Almost immediately, Lalremsiami too got her name on the score-sheet with another field effort before Jyoti piled on the rivals' misery in the 38th minute.
Vandana Katariya shares her thoughts about an important victory today and the importance of teamwork and the upcoming Olympic Qualifiers in Ranchi.#HockeyIndia#IndiaKaGame#JWACT2023pic.twitter.com/gPPjnavxUL— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) October 28, 2023
India could have won by a 6-0 margin had a penalty stroke awarded to them in the first quarter not been declared void following video referral.
The referee awarded a penalty stroke to India but the Malaysians took the video referral following which the decision was overturned.
However, the disappointment did not a affect the tempo of the India team, which went about its job in a calm and composed manner.
India will next take on China on Monday. China had defeated India in the Hangzhou Asian Games semifinals, preventing them from securing a direct 2024 Paris Olympic qualification.
In other matches on Saturday, China thrashed Thailand 6-0 to register their first win in the tournament after losing the opener to South Korea. In another match, Japan overcame South Korea 4-0 to register their second consecutive victory here.
India have made it to the finals of the Asian Champions Trophy three times -- 2013, 2016 and 2018 -- but won it just once in 2016, defeating China in the final.