Kakamigahara [Japan]: The Indian women’s hockey team produced an impressive performance as they thumped Kazakhstan 7-1 win in the quarter-finals of the Asia Cup 2017 here at the Kakamigahara Kawasaki Stadium on Thursday.
Dragflicker Gurjit Kaur was in sublime form as she pumped three goals (4′, 42′ and 56′) while Navneet Kaur scored twice (22′ and 27′) and Deep Grace converted two penalty corners (16′ and 41′) to ensure India remained unbeaten in the tournament and also advance to the semi-finals.
After an early setback when Vera Domashneva scored a field goal in the second minute of the match to give Kazakhstan 1-0 lead, India made amends when a tactical manoeuvre in the circle won them a penalty corner in the fourth minute. In-form dragflicker Gurjit Kaur hardly broke a sweat to fiercely strike the ball past Kazakhstan goalkeeper Guzal Bakhavaddin to equalize.
India were off to a steady start, patiently negotiating their way into the 25-yard mark not making hasty forays but waiting for the right opportunity. The Rani-led forward line were smart in their attacks as they created penalty corners to put their opponents under pressure. The plan worked as a penalty corner won in the 16th minute was brilliantly converted through Deep Grace’s well-struck dragflick that gave India a 2-1 lead. The following minutes saw Navneet Kaur score back-to-back field goals in the 22nd and 27th minute to take India’s lead to a comfortable 4-1 at the end of second quarter.
The ten-minute halftime break saw the team comeback stronger on the pitch as they began the third quarter by winning a penalty corner but this time it was well saved by the Kazakhstan goalkeeper. However, another penalty corner awarded in the 41st minute was beautifully converted by Deep Grace that took India’s lead to a strong 5-1.
Gurjit Kaur was splendid in her dragflick to convert her second goal through penalty corner in the 42nd minute to ensure India were on the right path to win. The 22-year-old Gurjit Kaur struck yet another penalty corner in the 56th minute as she registered a hat trick of goals and end the match in India’s favour with a 7-1 win. (ANI)