Muscat [Oman], January 25 (ANI): Following their 0-2 defeat against Japan, the Indian women's hockey team bounced back in style to claim a comprehensive 9-1 win against Singapore in their last Pool A match of the Asia Cup here at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex on Monday.
By virtue of this win, India have advanced to the semi-final of the tournament and sealed a spot for the 2022 FIH Women's Hockey World Cup to be held in Spain and Netherlands.
In what turned out to be a goalfest, Gurjit Kaur (8', 37', 48') bagged a hat-trick, Monika (6', 17') and Jyoti (43', 58') scored two goals each, while Vandana Katariya (8') and Mariana Kujur (10') contributed a goal each. Li Min Toh (43') scored the only goal for Singapore.
India was quick to get off the blocks in the first quarter, making inroads into Singapore's circle with a structured attack and dominating the possession throughout the first 15 minutes. The first goal came through Monika's clear-cut reverse flick in the 6th minute and in no time India went on to take a 3-0 lead, courtesy of goals from Vandana and Gurjit, who successfully converted the penalty corner in the 8th minute of the match.
In the next minute, the Indian eves earned their second penalty corner of the match. However, Deep Grace Ekka's attempt was saved by Singaporean goalkeeper Yu Tong Liu. The fourth goal was added by young forward Mariana in the 10th minute. Pushing for more opportunities within the striking circle of their opponent, India earned their third penalty corner in the dying minutes of the first quarter, but Gurjit's attempt was blocked by Singapore's defenders.
The second quarter started in a similar fashion with India making moves in Singapore's half. They won a penalty corner in just the second minute of the second quarter. Experienced Monika, who set the tempo of the match, made no mistake to get India's fifth and her second goal of the match. Despite trailing for most of the time, Singapore regained some strength to nullify India's attack and saved as many as two penalty corners in the latter part of the second quarter.
Savita-led India won two penalty corners in the initial minutes of the second half, but couldn't convert the chances to extend their lead. Still continuing with their structured attack, India earned yet another penalty corner, which was duly converted by drag flick specialist Gurjit in the 37th minute of the match.
After having recovered in the defence, Singapore earned a hard-fought penalty corner in the 43rd minute of the third quarter and managed to fetch the first goal with Li Min Toh's attempt. However, India responded straight away with a goal from Jyoti, who smartly found the back of the net through a cross from the left flank making the scoreline 7-1 at the end of the third quarter.
Continuing to dominate the proceedings, India went on to add the eighth goal to their tally through Gurjit's pernalty corner conversion in the 48th minute. Minutes later, Gurjit got a chance to add the team's ninth and her fourth goal to the tally through back-to-back penalty corners but missed out on converting it. Jyoti, however, went on to add her second goal to India's scoreline in the 58th minute, ending the match with a 9-1 score.
The Indian Women's Hockey team will take on South Korea in the semi-final of the Women's Asia Cup 2022. (ANI)